Between “sky and sand”: tourism, travel and expeditions. Mapping discourses and practices on Mauritania

Leading researcher: Joana Lucas
Research group: Practices and Politics of Culture
Type of project: Doctoral research
Status: Concluded
Keywords: Mauritania | Travels | Tourism | French colonial empire


Main institution: CRIA
Participant institutions: n.a.
Funding: FCT
Reference: SFRH/BD/46734/2008
Starting date: 01-01-09

More information: link

Abstract

The peripheral situation of Mauritania in the cartography of imperial interests, but also in the cartography of the circuits and interests of contemporary tourism, was the main guiding force for this dissertation. This dissertation seeks to structure a genealogy of the construction of discourses on the country, produced by the West, with special attention to how the territory was touristically promoted. Through an essentially chronological approach, this genealogy is constructed first, from the analysis of narratives of various types (mapping, conquest, travel, etc.) that took place on Mauritania from the fifteenth to the twentieth century. The second aspect of the construction of this genealogy focuses on how Mauritania was touristically promoted within the colonies of French West Africa. Therein we explore the country’s “peripheral status” through the analysis of tourist guides and brochures, but also by how the territory was displayed in the colonial exhibitions held in the metropolis. In a third discussion, the emphasis is placed on how the tourism sector was organized in post-colonial Mauritania, and seeks to measure the operability of “colonial nostalgia” associated with the desert as the main tourist attraction of the country. Finally, and based on ethnographic data and interviews collected in Nouakchott, a reflection on the current crisis in the Mauritanian tourism sector, as well as on social reconfigurations concurrently in operation because of this crisis, is provided.

Researchers from CRIA

IDNamePositionProjTitleProject typeStatus
pub114*Maria Cardeira da SilvaSupervisorproj95*Between "sky and sand": tourism, travel and expeditions. Mapping discourses and practices on MauritaniaDoctoral researchConcluded
pub77*Joana LucasResearch scholarproj95*Between "sky and sand": tourism, travel and expeditions. Mapping discourses and practices on MauritaniaDoctoral researchConcluded
Other researchers

ResearcherPositionInstitutionProjOutrosTitulo_EN