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Cultural Representations and Power in Tourist Exchanges

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Ines Kwai-Pun

on 11 October 2010

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Transcript of Cultural Representations and Power in Tourist Exchanges

first...what does the tourist want? Bruner:
"Maasai": an image of the ethnic past;
"Bomas": a preservation of tradition
"Sundowner": a homely haven
These 3 can be representative of
different types of tourist areas that cater to
different desires and demands
"Maasai"
look at us! we're still primitives The Maasai "occupy space in the
ethnographic present"
There are borders between 'tribesmen' and 'Englishmen'
Re-enactment of colonial times
'Stress continuity' - as if nothing has changed since then

Why is this disturbing?
"Bomas"
the dance of our ancestors

Performing an art that is in danger of
becoming extinct
Mainly local audience
Abundance of signs, advertisements even
Closely linked to reality: bars, restaurants
Performer-audience isolation
"Sundowner"
Meryl Streep cosplay Need for fantasy
Hybrid: W. pop culture + typified, beautified ethnic culture =
blurry mass of fantasy
The post-tourist mindset - those who are aware of the irony but still seek enjoyment
Examples of blurring borders for tourists... Language factor
- detailed, specific
Is this type of tourism
too folkloristic? When do cultural representations
become "truly" authentic?
...when the locals appreciate them?
(visitors to the Bomas performances are
predominantly local, but they are still criticised
of being folkloristic and too modern)
...when the locals actively engage in representation?

?Kung hei "fa cai"?
Ourselves as natives
Do you sometimes package
yourselves?
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