Accepted Paper:

Sundowner Theatre: animal/human spatial and performative relationships at the rest camp waterhole  

Author:

Mark Haywood (University of Cumbria)

Paper short abstract:

In game viewing seemingly ‘natural’ spaces are reconfigured to visitor expectations. Many visitors to re-wilded game parks in Southern Africa are unaware that the so-called ‘reserve’ (a term that implies some sort of environmental preservation) has been recently fabricated out of farmland that is being allowed to revert to some form of what Peterken (1996) termed an ‘earlier condition’. Easily viewable ‘wild spaces’ are created and although plausible and ‘natural’ if viewed from a rest-camp lounger, are as formally constructed as any other aspect of a game reserve. It is argued these settings evoke the formal proscenium arch of Western theatre.

Paper long abstract:

In game viewing seemingly 'natural' spaces are reconfigured to visitor expectations. Many visitors to re-wilded game parks in Southern Africa are unaware that the so-called 'reserve' (a term that implies some sort of environmental preservation) has been recently fabricated out of farmland that is being allowed to revert to some form of what Peterken (1996) termed an 'earlier condition'. Easily viewable 'wild spaces' are created and although plausible and 'natural' if viewed from a rest-camp lounger, are as formally constructed as any other aspect of a game reserve. It is argued these settings evoke the formal proscenium arch of Western theatre.

Panel P12
Gazing at the game: the anthropology of tourists' wild-animal encounters