2012-2013 Colloquium Series
The Tourism Studies Working Group is pleased to announce
GAZING AT THE HOLY BASIN:
An Emergent Tourism Imaginary in Jerusalem
Dana Hercbergs, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow in Israel Studies, American University
Friday, March 15, 5:00 PM
Gifford Room, 221 Kroeber Hall
University of California, Berkeley
This talk argues for the emergence of a new spatial and visual regime in Jerusalem embraced by the tourism industry and by elite real estate projects. I present two case studies that illustrate the visual management of Jerusalem’s holy sites and national landmarks through mobile technologies during the last decade: municipal tour bus rides and real estate advertisements (images and videos). The analysis of im/mobile visual icons and narratives points at the creation of a ‘tunnel vision’ for consumers and visitors. This tunnel vision situates viewers in physical and simulated enclaves within the city, creating a relationship of distance and elevation to promote their embodied identification with Israel’s Judaizing mission for the area, primarily the Holy Basin. I situate this visual regime in relation to the decline of the peace process and the rise of neo-liberal, global yet ethnocratic forms of governance.
Dana Hercbergs is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Israel Studies at American University in Washington, DC. Her research focuses on Arab and Jewish encounters and identities in the Middle East particularly in Jerusalem, and mobilities associated with tourism and travel in Israel/Palestine. She is writing an ethnography about Jerusalem based on oral narratives, tourism and architecture.