Parks and Recreation: Narratives of Conservation, Tourism, and Power on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast
Anna Antonova, University of Leeds
In the evolving tradition of coastal and environmental policy, the concept of “community” predominantly implies a spatial context and is largely interchangeable with the notion of locality. However, communities often form in ways divorced from administratively or geographically defined space. This paper draws on anthropological, geographic, and philosophical studies of environmental narratives and social imaginary to explore how discourse has helped shape transboundary communities in relation to coastal landscapes at the Bulgarian Black Sea shore. More specifically, the paper examines modern discourses of conservation, tourism, and power in Bulgaria, tracing their implications for coastal and tourism management on the Black Sea shoreline. Finally, the paper discusses the applicability of narrative analysis to political ecology, coastal management, and studies in tourism anthropology.
White’s failure: Re-envisioning the Arctic as diminishing light
Jesse Don Peterson, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
As the Earth warms from a changing climate, more tourists are visiting the Arctic and Antarctic regions than ever before. Along with their luggage and cameras, they also bring with them ideas of what these regions mean. As explorer Vilhjalmur Stefannson once said, “There are two kinds of Arctic problems, the imaginary and the real. Of the two, the imaginary are the more real; for man finds it easier to change the face of nature than to change his own mind.” Though recent research has attempted to dispel the imagination of the Arctic as an “emptiness waiting for recreation” (Baldwin et al., 2011: 2). thus far little scholarship has explored the lineage and power of this metaphor and how it is being reinforced or dispelled in a rapidly growing tourism industry. This paper will explore what interactions the tourism industry, particularly cruise lines, provides to tourists that shape their imaginations of the Arctic in light of this metaphor, which finds traction in white snow, race, and consumption.