Thursday, April 19, 2012

For April 25

In place of the printed readings, I'd like to jump to some meditations on some forms of "practical" tourism, since we are proposing some tours of our own (even if just amongst ourselves). There have been many efforts to mobilize tourism in instrumental ways, what Dean MacCannell has taken to calling "moral tourism," and you may have heard of several variants, such as eco-tourism, toxic tourism, voluntourism or edutourism.
The first reading is by a scholar named Phaedra Pezullo, who wrote a fantastic book on toxic tourism. Here she discusses tourism in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
The second reading is a choice of either:
this New York Times piece on a gang tour in Los Angeles
this audio-tour project by an artist collective in the UK
What I think is useful to discuss here, is the (attempt at the) production of tourist experiences that have intentions other than simple leisure or play. In fact, they have explicit aims to take on subjects that are explicitly difficult, while fully embracing some traditional ideas of touristic experience, such as sightseeing and narrative guides.
Don't worry about posting anything in the forum, just have some thought and questions in response and ready for discussion.

*Also, remember to have some sketchy plans for your final project and how some materialization (a tool, set of instruction, some kind of "pointing" device) can be produced for our "kit."


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