Accepted Paper:

Labour and/as Leisure: The Spectacle of Darjeeling  


Asso'o Jeanne Rita Kantu (ICS-UL)

Paper short abstract:

Plantation tourism diversifies commodities and influences the fabric of social relations, creating friction between modes of labour and spectacles of leisure in Mauritius. Examining these frictions uncovers implications of racism, race, class and ethnicity in the mobility of labour and leisure.

Paper long abstract:

Plantation tourism i.e. the diversification of plantation fields into tourist attractions is a growing phenomenon across Mauritius among travellers seeking 'exotic' sun, sand and sea paradise destinations. The influx and need to accommodate growing numbers of foreign tourists influences the geopolitical, socioeconomic and cultural demography of 'paradise islands'. Labour as leisure concerns modes of labour (formal/informal; plantation/domestic etc.) that exist as and reproduce forms of leisure for the tourist gaze. Often, these modes of labour exist within the intersection of race, class, gender and ethnicity. If the plantation system exists outside of agricultural production then we might presume that plantation tourism depends on and reproduces similar ideologies and representations of race, racism and class upon which forms of labour and leisure emerge.

By examining the forms of labour within the diversification of tea and sugar estates, in this paper I discuss how local/migrant workers experience and respond to the implications of racism, race (and racialization), class and ethnicity in the mobility of labour and leisure in Mauritius. In my current PhD project I seek to not only understand how plantation tourism transforms agricultural commodities (land, labour, tea, sugar etc.) into sites of luxury, but also how it influences the fabric of social relations thus creating friction between the lived realities of work/labour and the spectacle of leisure.

Panel P144
Laboring racialization in the lived experience of settling, moving, and making place