Rethinking Tourism : On the politics and practices of ‘staging’ New Orleans

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Abstract

Emerging from a research trip to New Orleans in March/April 2018, this article explores questions about the politics 'staging' wreckage in relation to conceptualizations and practices of tourism, class and race. Taking as it's central case studies a private vehicular tour of the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans (the area most devastated by flooding as a result of Katrina) and Goat in the Road's immersive, promenade production The Stranger Disease, the work seeks to understand how these two very different cultural objects might be seen to be 'staging' New Orleans in different but inter-related ways that illuminate and critique the politics of (disaster) tourism in the city, and cognate (urban) contexts. Reflecting on the phenomenological experience of the tour and the play in relation to more 'normal' modes of being a tourist in New Orleans, the argument proposes that the embodied experience of performance spectatorship can make radical interventions into process and practice of tourism by rupturing dominant paradigms of power, equity, race and environmental change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-56
JournalPerformance Research
Volume24
Issue number5
Early online date21 Nov 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes

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