Accepted paper:

The Body Politics, Political Tourism and Embodied Tour Guiding in Belfast

Author:

Jonathan Skinner (University of Roehampton)

Paper short abstract:

This paper looks at the choreography of the political tour of West Belfast run by ex-combatants. It focuses upon the technology of the body to guide and perform an audience walking through the streets.

Paper long abstract:

This paper looks at the choreography of the political tour of West Belfast, a traditionally nationalist enterprise run by ex-combatants. It focuses upon the technology of the body to guide and perform an audience walking through the streets: attention is paid to the voice and rhetorics of the tour from initial rapport to marshalling errant tourists, to engaging the public, and establishing closure at the end of the tour; the use of space on the street demarcating a mobile performance arena around the tour guide supported by props; and the mannerisms of the guide performing their tour, in this case, former Blanketmen who have an aura of authenticity in their delivery as they physically evoke the struggle to survive their incarceration in the HMP The Maze/Long Kesh clothed only in blankets. This case is contextualized in the tour guiding literature and supports an embodied and performative anthropology of tourism where the body continues to be the main frame of reference for both the tourist and the tour guide.

panel P088
The technologies and techniques of guiding: tour guides as cultural mediators