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Keeping the Goddess Alive

Performing Culture and Remembering the Past in Osogbo, Nigeria

Peter Probst

This article focuses on the debate about cultural heritage in the context of art, history, and politics in the Yoruba town of Osogbo in southwest Nigeria. Some forty years ago, Osogbo became the center of a vibrant art scene. Today Osogbo’s fame as a symbol for the renaissance of Yoruba art and culture has faded. What has survived, however, is the debate about the shrines and sculptures shaped by the Austrian-born artist, Susanne Wenger, and her local collaborators in the grove of Osogbo’s guardian deity Osun. It is argued that the present day conflicts about the meaning of the image works standing in the Osun grove are based upon their perception not so much as art but rather as media which in the very sense of the word—mediate between different realms of social importance in terms of time, space, power, and wealth.

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Dante Alighieri Was Here

Place, Identities, Geographies and Histories in a Small Slovenian Town

Miha Kozorog

The article addresses the question of local identification, proposing that local identification in the contemporary world can be linked to locals' imagining 'their place' as inscribed within wider contexts outlined by symbols with supra-local references, whereby place-centric imaginary geographies emerge. Locals are active producers of symbols linking a place to such geographies. The author discusses the case of Dante Alighieri's alleged stay in the town of Tolmin in 1319, which failed as a possible symbol for inscribing the town into the imaginary geography of Western literature because in this part of Slovenia Dante was also associated with Italian fascism.

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Mark C.J. Stoddart

This article examines several ways in which animals are brought into skiing in British Columbia, Canada. Discourse analysis, interviews with skiers, and field observation are used to analyze how skiing joins together skiers, mountain landscapes, and non-human animals. First, animals enter ski industry discourse primarily as symbols of nature, or as species that ski corporations manage through habitat stewardship. Second, environmentalists recruit animals—particularly bears and mountain caribou—into a discourse of wildlife and wilderness values that are threatened by ski industry expansion. From this standpoint, skiing landscapes transform wildlife landscapes to meet the needs of a global tourist economy. Finally, skiers' talk about their own encounters with animals illustrates how embodied animals also shape skiers' experience of mountainous nature.

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Michael Murray

The Camino de Santiago comprises a lattice of European pilgrimage itineraries that converge at Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain. This article introduces the historical and contemporary representation of these routes as a heritage complex that is imagined and codified within varied cultural meanings of a journey undertaken. Particular attention is given to the Camino Frances and the Via de la Plata, which contrast as mature and formative pilgrimage settings. Within this spatial sphere, the analysis deals with the Camino de Santiago as official heritage, as development instrument, as civil society, and as personal experience. The article concludes by offering a contemporary conceptualization of the evolving Camino de Santiago cultural heritage complex.

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The Corpus of London

(Dis)covering the Victorian City

David W. Chapman

Visitors to London are often seeking an imaginary city, one defined through literary depictions and pop culture. To (dis)cover Victorian London requires the visitor to disentangle the corporeal, historical, and mythical manifestations of the city. Thus, the corpus of London is both a literary and a physical space with geographical features, architectural styles, and visual references that sometimes form the viewer’s experience and are sometimes formed by the viewer’s expecta- tions. The corpus of London is not only an experience of recognition but also one that leads inevitably to magnification, distortion, disruption, and even erasure of the cultural artifact.

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Dunas costeras en Veracruz, México

Conservación y uso para la cohesión social desde la percepción local

María Ángeles Piñar-Álvarez, Astrid Wojtarowski-Leal and Maria Luisa Martínez-Vázquez

*Full article is in Spanish

English abstract: In this article we studied the environmental perception of inhabitants of Chachalacas Beach, a coastal village in the central Gulf of Mexico. The views of residents on coastal dunes are described in terms of its specific importance for locals and also the transformation they have sensed over time in this ecosystem. Practical and symbolic significance of these dunes for the population, as well as how they have established roots on this space through its recreational and economic use, is highlighted. Local stakeholders do not recognize themselves as participants or co-responsible for the transformation. This makes the promotion of environmental education programs necessary to drive the involvement and social cohesion of Touristic Service Providers, fishermen, municipal authorities and visitors in the preservation of coastal dunes.

Spanish abstract: El artículo presenta parte de los resultados de un estudio de percepción sobre el entorno natural en Playa de Chachalacas, localidad costera de la zona central del Golfo de México. Se describen las opiniones de un grupo de pobladores sobre las dunas costeras, en cuanto a la relevancia que éstas revisten para los habitantes de la localidad y a la transformación que ellos han percibido en este ecosistema a lo largo del tiempo. Se destaca la importancia práctica y simbólica que tienen las dunas para esta población y cómo han establecido el arraigo a este espacio a través de su uso recreativo y económico. Los actores locales no se reconocen a sí mismos como partícipes ni corresponsables de la transformación. Ello hace necesario promover programas de educación ambiental que impulsen el involucramiento y cohesión social de los prestadores de servicios turísticos, pescadores, autoridades municipales y visitantes en la conservación de las dunas costeras.

French abstract: Cet article présente une partie des résultats d’une étude de perception du milieu naturel à Playa de Chacalas, localité côtière de la zone centrale du Golfe du Mexique. Il décrit les opinions d’un groupe d’habitants sur des dunes côtières, en particulier l’importance qu’elles revêtent pour ceux qui y vivent et la transformation qu’ils perçoivent de cet écosystème au fil du temps. L’importance pratique et symbolique des dunes pour cette population est mise en évidence ainsi que leur enracinement à cet espace à travers leur usage récréatif et économique. Les acteurs locaux ne se reconnaissent pas comme des participants et des co-responsables de la transformation observée. Ceci rend nécessaire la promotion de programmes d’éducation environnementale qui impulsent la participation et la cohésion sociale des prestataires de services touristiques, des pêcheurs, des autorités municipales et des visiteurs en matière de conservation des dunes côtières.

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Rebranding Desolation

The Allure of Israel’s Desert Landscapes

Amelia Rosenberg Weinreb

This article explores the trope of desert desolation in the Zionist state-building project. It traces the strategic uses of desolate imagery in the pioneer narrative (1880s–1920s), by the New Hebrew culture (1923–1948), during the ‘golden age’ of urban and regional planning (1948–1956), and through marketing the Negev desert town of Mitzpe Ramon to tourists (1993–present). These eras highlight the tension between desolation as reflecting the alienated ‘outsiders’ gaze’ versus desolation as energizing and inspiring place making. I argue that since unproductive, desolate landscapes pose an economic threat, both Israel’s collectivist and capitalist settlement projects have confronted the challenge of strategically rebranding desolation to promote its allure.

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Jamie McMenamin, Lauri Hyers, Jeroen Nawijn and Aviva Sinervo

Kevin Markwell, ed., Animals and Tourism: Understanding Diverse Relationships (2015) - Reviewed by Jamie McMenamin and Lauri Hyers

Sebastian Filep and Philip Pearce, eds., Tourist Experience and Fulfilment: Insight from Positive Psychology (2014) - Reviewed by Jeroen Nawijn

Jim Butcher and Peter Smith, Volunteer Tourism: The Lifestyle Politics of International Development (2015) - Reviewed by Aviva Sinervo

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Yajun Mo

Overtaking Americans and Germans as the world’s most exuberant tourism spenders, middle-class Chinese tourists have become the most coveted demographic in the global tourism market. At the same time, robust “Golden Week” tourism data, which tracks domestic tourism during the two-week national holidays in mainland China, has indicated a surge in travel within China. Viewed as a revealing lens through which one could observe Chinese modernity, travel and tourism-related activities have attracted considerable attention from scholars interested in China.1 However, marked as a “contemporary” phenomenon, tourism and travel in China seem to have remained largely outside historians’ purview. In response to calls from mobility scholars for a historical understanding of the movement of peoples, goods, and ideas since the late twentieth century, China historians have begun to examine the practice of travel and tourism, especially from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries. At the same time, infl uenced by colonial discourse analysis and postcolonial theory, literary scholars have renewed their interests in Chinese travel accounts, both textual and visual, making connections between travelers’ representations and the imaginations of empire and nation-state over the past few centuries.

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English Journeys

the tourist, the guidebook, and the motorcar in The Remains of the Day

Sarah Gibson

While debates on tourism have predominantly focused on the role played by literature or the cinema as creating the desire to travel to different sites and sights (Urry 2002), little has been written on what happens when the film adaptation itself is the tourist attraction; when the act of viewing a film is equivalent to a tourist practice. This film, like the other Merchant Ivory productions, is as much a tourist attraction as it is a film narrative. Both of these models of tourism (literary and cinematic) are, however, predicated upon a corporeal mobility of the tourist to a geographical location. This can be supplemented today by a virtual mobility via the cinema screen: a virtual English journey. The Remains of the Day thus brings together these varying discourses of tourism: travel literature; literary tourism; cinematic tourism; and finally the virtual tourism offered by the adaptation being showcased on the cinema screen. The trope of tourism can thus be appropriated to both constructions and deconstructions of myths of Englishness.