2018-2019 Colloquium Series

The Tourism Studies Working Group is pleased to announce
The Black Paris project: the production and reception of a counter-hegemonic tourism narrative in postcolonial Paris

« Aux grands hommes, la patrie reconnaissante », Panthéon, Paris (L. Boukhris, 2016)

Linda Boukhris
The IREST, University Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne

Friday, March 1, 5:00pm
Gifford Room, 221 Kroeber Hall
University of California, Berkeley

Tourism in Paris embodies the contradictions of contemporary France, which struggles to think critically about its own postcolonial era. The invisibilization of colonial and anticolonial traces in the production of Parisian tourism narratives, the heightened otherness of Black communities in the tourist offer and the complex institutional heritagization of the colonial past illustrate the challenges in thinking about racial difference. By articulating two bodies of work, one dealing with racialization processes in French society, and the other with the geography and anthropology of tourism, my presentation will examine the modalities in which a counter-hegemonic narrative of Parisian and French identity is produced and received based on the analysis of a tourism project, Le Paris Noir, or Black Paris. The objective is to cast light on the symbolic violence that occurs through the internalization of the invisibilization of Black geographies and the challenges in breaking with France's powerful assimilationist legacy among racialized minorities. The Black Paris project serves as a laboratory to observe the effects of the racial denial mechanisms occurring in French society, and the resistance to them, taking the form of a decolonial praxis. The presentation will also emphasize the role of social technologies in shaping the relational narrative of a transatlantic Blackness.

Speaker Bios:
Linda Boukhris
holds a PhD in Geography from the University Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne and is an associate professor at the IREST, University Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne. She is currently working on a book on race, nature and the political economy of tourism in Costa Rica. Her current research discusses the concept of Plantationocene in the Caribbean context of the banana plantations (Costa Rica and French West Indies) focusing on the socio-ecologies of the African diaspora.

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