International Workshop

Cancelled: International Workshop “Trapped in Paradise: Entangled Lives and Uncertain Futures in Tourist Towns”

Mittwoch, 11.03.2020 - Donnerstag, 12.03.2020


Veranstaltende: Institut für Sozialanthropologie der Universität Bern
Redner, Rednerin: Keynotes: FRANCES PINE, Goldsmiths, University of London, VALERIO SIMONI, Graduate Institute, Geneva
Datum: 11.03.2020 - 12.03.2020
Uhrzeit: 18:00 Uhr
Ort: Room 033
Main Building, Universität Bern
Hochschulstrasse 4
3012 Bern
Anmeldung: Hier Anmelden
Merkmale: nicht öffentlich

We are terribly sorry but we have to cancel the entire workshop.


This workshop looks at small places whose position in a globalized world is predominantly mediated through tourism and migration. We are interested in places that have become desirable destinations for short- or long-term stays, leading to all types of uneven mobilities and appearing ever more like enclaves – on the one hand isolated and on the other connected to global networks. In short, we are interested in what it means to live and work in a place where others spend their holidays.

In precarious times (where global economic, environmental and social trends and crises can so quickly shift people and capital around) we are interested in the moral economies that hold these (fragile) places together. The desirability of such places, and the imaginaries of the idyllic, sublime, or the hedonistic that they are wrapped up in, problematise ideas of the good life, freedom and the use of pleasure. The imperative towards hospitality and a good time can lead to alienation and strong ideas of localism, leading to issues of social and individual discipline: “us and them”. This suggests that the factors that hold such places together, as well as threaten them, go much deeper than purely economic, and as such we want to look at the types of values that permeate such places. We are especially interested in the everyday situations in which social relations are made, threatened and remade, the conflict of values, and the attentiveness that host and guests (and others) pay to each other.

The issue of precarity and the good life also leads us to put a particular emphasis on temporality, ruination and future making. Tourist places seem to face a double threat at the moment – from climate change, whether melting glaciers or rising sea levels, and the seasonal fear that the tourists might go somewhere else next year. Frederic Jameson’s quote, ‘it is easier to imagine an end to the world than an end to capitalism’, seems strikingly apt in places that appear stuck in the mindset of growth, development, and progress, despite the potential damage done to natural and social resources. We are therefore interested in the way these futures play out in the present in such places, the failures of imagination, as well as the traces of the ‘utopian moment’, when tourism seemed a golden egg for economic growth and hospitable relations with the outside world. 

In this workshop we aim to discuss tourism as it is related to ethics, temporality, mobility, precarity, freedom, infrastructure, environment, progress, the everyday/ordinary, and ruination.

Conveners: Sabine Strasser (University of Bern, Institute of Social Anthropology), Valerio Simoni (Graduate Institute Geneva), Annika Lems (Max Planck Halle, Institute for Social ), Janine Dahinden (NCCR on the move/Uni Neuchâtel)

Organisation: Danaé Leitenberg (University of Bern, Institute of Social Anthropology), Paul Reade (University of Bern, Institute of Social Anthropology) 





11th of March 2020
18:00 Introduction and Welcome by Sabine Strasser (University of Bern, Institute of Social Anthropology)
18:15 Presentation Ethnographic Museum Neuchâtel (Temporary Exhibition): "Le Mal du Voyage"
18:45 Keynote by Valerio Simoni (Graduate Institute, Geneva): “Enacting the Good Life and Getting Stuck: Articulations of Value in Touristic Viñales, Cuba”
19:30 Comments and discussion by Paul Reade (University of Bern, Institute of Social Anthropology)
12th of March 2020
9:30-10:00 Introduction by Sabine Strasser, Janine Dahinden, Valerio Simoni
Session 1: Intimate Economies in the Americas
10:00 Paul Reade (University of Bern, Institute of Social Anthropology): "In the shadows of ethical tourism: The illicit and complicit in the case of Ricky and Charlie Brown"
10:30 Joanna Menet (NCCR on the move/University of Neuchâtel): "‘For us professionals dancing is not for fun’: Negotiating Pleasure and Intimacy in Havana’s Salsa Tourism"
11:00 Tristan Loloum (University of Lausanne, Institute of Geography and Sustainability): "International Love Investments. The Intimate Economies of Second Home Development in Northeast Brazil"
11:30 Comments and discussion by Valerio Simoni (Graduate Institute, Geneva)
Session 2: Potentials and Threats at the EU Margins
14:00 Danaé Leitenberg (University of Bern, Institute of Social Anthropology): " In and Out of Time: Politics of Future-making in the Swiss Alps"
14:30 Emmanuel Charmillot/ Olivier Pedersen (NCCR on the move/University of Neuchâtel): "Villagers, Tourists, Tourism Promoters: an Exploration of the Different Perspectives on the Construction and De-construction of Faroese Authenticity"
15:00 Annelies Kuypers (University of Zurich, Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies): "Halfeti, A Sunken Paradise: A Reconstruction of the Past through Presences and Absences"
15:30 Comments and discussion by Janine Dahinden (NCCR on the move/University of Neuchâtel)