L’enchantement touristique a son lot de malentendus et de tensions qu’elles soient d’ordre humaines, sociales, économiques, culturelles, politiques. Le conférence ASA2007(*) a clairement focalisé sur la rencontre des minorités. Rien d’étonnant pour des anthropologues… qui adorent ausculter les « peuplades » : ici, celles de l’autochtone et du touriste. On y trouvera donc peu d’études sur le tourisme de masse ou de portée sociologique. Ci-dessous, ma sélection très subjective parmi les communications de la conférence. Dans le lot on trouve des papiers très soucieux d’objectivité, de recul, de modération, très « académiques », et dans d’autres un œil très critique, « militant » qui va jusqu’à la dénonciation.
- Enchanted space and prosaic place: touristic and native visions of the bazaar in Aleppo. Annika Rabo, Stockholm University.
Entre habitants, marchands et touristes, comment peut évoluer le prestigieux souk d’Alep. Le paradoxe de l’authenticité.
- Revolutionary tourism: souvenirs of Everest, John Hutnyk. [no e-paper]
« This paper addresses the ways a new revolutionary tourism trades on the same (the same?) double aspect – the exotic charge of ‘alternative travel’ means meeting with the Maoist adds a frisson of excitement to what was by now a standard brochure scenario. The Maoists themselves take part in this representation game – Everest turns Red. I have a Communist Party of Nepal souvenir visa stamp to prove it (1000 rupees). »
- Selling the revolution: the state’s involvement in Cuban tourism, Thomas Carter.
« Experiencing “socialism before it disappears”, tourists do not suffer the indignities of food shortages, rationed soap, transportation challenges or other difficulties that life in Havana forces many to endure. Instead, they consume spectacles built upon imperialist nostalgias that create illusionary social worlds in which Cubans do all the labor, living is easy, and one can engage in a myriad of excesses in sensuous abandon by indulging in eating, drinking, fucking, and smoking to one’s delight. Such transgressions only serve to reconfirm the boundaries of historical domination and difference. »
« Now that tourism is the main source of hard currency, the state is less invested in an image of itself as a modern industrial nation and more heavily comprised of imagery that showcases “traditional” Afro-Cuban religious rituals, art, music, and citizens, especially women. »
« Even as tourists caress Cuban bodies, they are not embracing the physical reality of Cubanness but an ephemeral spectacle that is performed precisely for the tourists’ benefit. »
- The significance of dark tourism in the process of tourism development after a long-term political conflict: an issue of Northern Ireland, Senija Causevic & Paul Lynch.
Definition : « the phenomenon which encompasses the presentation and consumption (by visitors) of real and commodified death and disaster sites »
« The study found phoenix tourism a more appropriate label. »
« Tourists do not know the meaning of dark tourism. They relate their understanding to a single product, calling it a political tour or a war tour. The findings from the official tourism institutions suggest that the promotion of dark tourism will ruin the process of re-imaging. Being labelled as dark resembles a pejorative nuance towards the process. »
« This research defines phoenix tourism as a process of destination regeneration, rehabilitation, reimaging and revitalisation after a long – term political conflict. »
- Tourism in the political economy of indigeneity: the case of Embera cultural presentations in Panama, Dimitrios Theodossopoulos.
« I challenge the idea, introduced by several travellers who seek authentic experiences, that the community in question is ‘unreal’ and its repetitive representations of Embera culture are mechanical, sterile and unoriginal. »
« unoriginal. I argue instead that repetitive cultural performances for tourists, through their recurring reproduction, provide opportunities for culture experimentation: new possibilities for defining tradition and indigenous identity, new culturally established routes for escaping economic isolation. »
- The melting glaciers of Kilimanjaro: on the touristic appropriation of African nature in aesthetic modernity, Urte Undine Froemming.
« focus on the consequences for the local population – such as the disappearance of traditional mountain spirit rituals, and the appropriation of religious footpaths to produce the Coca-Cola Route for mass tourism – as well as the arrangements formed between local inhabitants and international tourists. »
« The question remains open to debate: in creating national parks that rob local people of their rights, to what extent has dominant western modernity simply conquered yet another foreign wilderness, or preserved it as a freeze-frame image of the Garden of
Eden? A sensible and equitable transcultural cooperation can only emerge when these polarities, which have been created by modernity in its various different forms, are consciously and finally overcome. »
- A crafty bluff: picturesque tourism or the experience of neighbourhood and past as part of the property shopping basket in Ciutat de Mallorca, Marc Morell.
« I argue that the strategy promotes a minor cultural tourism project that works more as a smoke-screen for what is actually happening: the selling of property to a wealthier population. »
- Ethno-tourism and social change in south-east Poland, Juraj Buzalka.
« the paper illuminates the relationship between ethno-tourism and social change and the ambivalence it causes among ordinary Catholics in south-east Poland. »
- Tourism Business Opportunities for Community Development among Tribes/Indigenous Communities in India & Canada: Anthropological Dimensions, B Francis Kulirani.
« The cautions that need to be exercised have been amply highlighted by Hitchcock (1997:
93-128) in the context of Kalahari Bushmen. There can be no worst scenario than the community members feeling that ‘they were in a kind of “human zoo” in which they were objects of scrutiny by rich outsiders’ in the wake of tourism and suffer from ‘environmental degradation’ and ‘increased social stratification’ (Hitchcock,1997). The collaboration and participation of anthropologists in the efforts of tribes and aboriginal communities to develop appropriate tourism bu
siness strategies is urgent to enable them to participate in the globalization and at the same time protect their environment and achieve self perceived development goals. »
- Are there any natives in the West?: competing discourses of westerness and nativeness at a heritage site, Linda Scarangella.
« Cultural tourism and heritage sites are spaces for the production of national identity, culture and history. Tourist sites, however, produce partial histories and valorize selective identities. »
« While the dominant discourse commemorates Western history and identity, I argue that Native participants contest this discourse through their performances, which celebrate contemporary Native culture and identity. »
- Black skin, white yacht: contesting race opposition in Panapompom tourist encounters, Will Rollason
« Requesting things of white tourists, however, places Panapompom people in a developmental bind. In the normal run of day-to-day development, local people seek to present an image of parity with their imagination of white people by rejecting ‘primitive
native custom’ in favour of ‘developed’ or ‘modern’ modes of acting. However, perceived tourist demands for the attention of natives, not developed counterparts, leads to a humiliating dilemma for local people. How should they present themselves to tourists as attractive people of culture and local knowledge, while at the same time using them as an avenue to development? »
- From Namu to Najie: tourism, titillation and the reshaping of Mosuo identity, Eileen Walsh.
« As mobility and consumption link to create the rush of domestic tourists across China, more and more « remote » peoples and places are called upon to define themselves – both to package themselves for marketing as well as to try to remember and hold onto group identity in the face of the « golden hordes » of wealthier tourists descending on their locales. »
- Mobile and insular islands: contested visions of Caribbean spaces in tourism development, Carlo Cubero.
« This paper will focus on the tensions created between national, global and insular understandings of modern development discourse and their articulation with island identities. »
- ‘There’s more to life’: why the British migrate to rural France, Michaela Benson.
« While their move to France can be explained in terms of the search for the rural idyll, antimodern and anti-urban longings, and their eschatological cravings, the migrants themselves discuss these desires in a variety of ways and emphasize how they understand what constitutes a meaningful and authentic life. »
- North-South exchanges through a popular tourist organisation related to the trade union movement, Sylvain Pattieu. [no e-paper]
« Holidays in Magrheb are indeed presented by Tourisme et travail as an occasion for a political conscience taking. Before the independances, although the journeys are scarce, the aim is to show the wrongdoings of colonial rule. Thereafter, holidays in Maghreb become an occacion for talking up the accomplishments of new independant countries. However,
beyond the speech, the maghrebi countries remain an exotic elsewhere. The mental representations largely follow colonial clichés and classic holiday stereotypes, be it through the choice of visits, the descriptions of the autochtones or the iconography used to debrief the journeys. «
- Work or tourism? The ambiguity of a humanitarian and charitable practice in India, Xavier Zunigo. [no e-paper]
« The amateur nature of the practice gives this voluntary work an ambiguous quality: it can be viewed as a humanitarian activity or a tourist activity. More precisely, it represents an atypical form of tourism, which could be considered as « humanitarian tourism ». In this universe, however, dedicated to the assistance of poor Indian people, the « tourist », whose trip has no other goal than that of a presence in India, remains an illegitimate figure and the attributes associated with « ordinary tourism » (sightseeing, relaxation, spending, etc.) are generally stigmatized. A majority of volunteers do not indeed consider their stay as a holiday trip, even if the exotic framework of voluntary work in the Missionaries of Charity Centres (which radically differs from voluntary practices in the country of origin), is one of the reasons which frequently motivates the trip. »
- Solidarity tourism: the misunderstandings of the meeting between some French tourists and Burkina Faso inhabitants, Nadège Chabloz [voir mon billet : Tourisme solidaire : l’authentique malentendu]
- A virtual island? Tourism and the internet in a Shetland island community, Emma-Reetta Koivunen.
« Moreover, the paper showed that also in these encounters the islanders managed to keep their distance from the tourists, to protect certain parts of their everyday life. Interestingly, this also partly leads into stereotypical relations between the islanders and the tourists – the cruise ship tourists described in the paper see a picture of a traditional, tight community. But this situation is created on the islanders’ own terms, and for them this kind of relation can be seen to provide a safety mechanism, ensuring certain areas of their everyday life are kept private. The islanders are able to keep their distance from the touristic image of themselves, as an interviewee described laughing ironically to the image the tourists must have of them. »
- Off scenes and the making of cities’ tourist-image, Elsa Vivant.
« are off cultures a part of the city imaginary ? Actually, off scenes are becoming tourist attractions in some cities, such as Berlin, while they are ignored in other places like Paris. » Ex. les squatts d’artistes.
(*) Pour la présentation de la conférence voir mon billet : Conférence ASA07: Thinking through tourism