November 21, 2010

And sometimes I ask did these people get here?

From my readings about different approaches to the study of tourism: "As Franklin...argues, tourism is no doubt a social activity, but it cannot be reduced to the social because it is relationally linked to a wide variety of objects, machines, texts, systems, non-humans, spaces and so on, without which it would not happen and could not become what it is: 'as an ordering it organizes a complex mesh of human and non-humans and creates ordering effects" (Rene van der Duim, 2007: "Tourism, Materiality and Space"). The photo above was taken at the archaeological site of Coba in 2008. What guidebooks, stories from friends, TV shows, airline offers, understandings of the world, educations, vacations, social networks, industries, chance occurrences, and other factors came together to bring these people to this place, at that time, atop some old pile of rocks? What motivated those people to go THERE, of all places? What beliefs? What economic factors? What matters of taste? What historical interests? What biases? What discourses have come together to create Coba as a desirable destination, as a place worthy of spending income on to visit? What happens when those discourses change--when Coba is no longer seen as a valuable place? Does it just become another old pile of rocks, as it was before being resurrected by the tourism industry (and archaeologists, of course)?

No comments: