In 2005 Charles Avery embarked on a lifelong project entitled The Islanders, a detailed description of the topography, cosmology and inhabitants of a fictional island, realised in drawings, objects and texts. The project can be read as a meditation on the central themes of philosophy and art as well as the colonization and ownership of the world of ideas. This book is a portrait of the people and culture of Onomatopoeia, capital city, port, and gateway to the Island. The town was once the stepping off point for pioneers and travellers. It grew from an outpost to a bustling boomtown, before entering a phase of decline into depression ravaged slum, and now – in the fictional present – finds itself reborn as a regenerated city of culture with its own Museum of Modern Art. The book also offers glimpses of the wilderness that lies beyond the fortified walls of Onomatopoeia and the Islanders’ cautious forays into this territory, for the purposes of hunting and extraction.