Accepted paper:

Belize Blues

Authors:

Kenneth Little (York University)

Paper short abstract:

Using tourist, expat, and Creole examples this paper tracks the emergent political imaginaries and affects of blue compositions that become thinkable and felt through a sustained engagement with the seductive and recalcitrant materiality of the colour blue in a coastal tourist village in Belize?

Paper long abstract:

You can't mistake this blue. The azure blue of the Caribbean Sea has been the seductive, tropical growth colour of Belize for the past twenty years. It is the impact colour of Caribbean tourism with a structure of feeling that incites body attunements and emergent worlds. At the same time, it is a breezy turquoise blue conjuring paradise. For locals it is the ambivalent, fraught and dissipating colour of seaside precarity mixed with a hustle and laughter that fills Belize coast with the seductions of possible fortune and futurity, back-talking privation and local tradition for something that recalibrates the social, the citizen and the nation. For expats this blue acts is an incitement for "crying the blues" as the seductions of tropical blues begins to blend into things in the wrong way to conjure a dream gone bad, a paradise optimism turned mean and nasty that rubs the senses raw. This paper tracks how three scenes of blue throw themselves together as potentializing forces creating moments when assemblages of incommensurate things, entanglements, and publics compose themselves as affective atmospheres that begins to feel like something. This paper tracks the rhythms and attachments to scenes and objects of desire that sustain life in a coastal village gone crazy for tourism, and about how blue takes material and imaginative form in the way it pulls some assortment of forces, events, and sensibilities into alignment to become nervously generative of the textures and rhythms of living in such a place.

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Into the blue - cultures of the sea