P069
Slow travelling: a precious heritage or a sustainable strategy for future mobilities? [ANTHROMOB & IUAES-Tourism]

Convenors:
Noel B. Salazar (University of Leuven)
Nelson Graburn (University of California, Berkeley)
Stream:
Panels
Location:
U6-29
Start time:
20 July, 2016 at 14:30
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

The papers in this panel will shed light on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of slow travel. Anthropology, a prototypical 'slow science', offers an appropriate conceptual and methodological framework to discuss this from multiple social and cultural angles from across the globe.

Long abstract:

Since the 1980s, the value of slowness has been advocated for in fields as diverse as gastronomy, economics, education, science, technology and travel. The so-called 'slow movement' undoes the pejorative overtones commonly associated with slowness by referring back to age-old traditions and by proposing it as a sustainable scenario for the future of this planet. Applied to mobility, slowness is about finding the 'right' speed with which to move, in a way that values quality over quantity, long-term benefits over short-term gains, and well-being of the many over the few. The various papers in this panel will shed light on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of slow modes of being 'on the move', not only as a fashionable contemporary way of spending leisure time but, more importantly, as a mode of movement that reinforces the traditional connection between travail (physical toil and other, difficult 'labour') and (inner) transformation, as present in age-old rites of passage and transition in many cultures. What kind of value does slowness have for those forms of travel whereby the destination is more important than the journey of 'getting there'? Think of businesspeople, tourists and pilgrims but also of refugees and migrants. Attention to slowness requires a consideration of time use and the power dynamics and inequalities involved in people traveling, voluntarily or forced, at different speeds. Anthropology, a prototypical 'slow science', offers an appropriate conceptual and methodological framework to discuss these issues from multiple social and cultural angles from across the globe.