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Accepted Paper:

Cruise infrastructures - Social and cultural impacts in the northern Adriatic  
Janine Schemmer (Alpen-Adria-Universit├Ąt Klagenfurt)

Paper short abstract:

The interlinkings between cruise tourism and cruise shipbuilding in Venice and Monfalcone, two cities located in the northern Adriatic, are the point of focus of my ethnographic research. It engages with the social and cultural conditions of mobility and transport.

Paper long abstract:

Cruise ships leave their imprint in infrastructures and the urban environment of destinations. Infrastructures can be approached as materialised ideas of social and political order. They produce "the ambient conditions of everyday life" (Larkin 2013: 336) and are a fundamentally relational concept (cf. Leigh Star 1999). I intend to follow the relations between organisational structures and social interactions using the examples of Venice and Monfalcone in the northern Adriatic.

Venice developed into an important homeport where most passengers embark since cruise ships have been increasingly reaching European port cities. With growing arrivals of big ships, not only has the number of tourists, but also criticism and protest concerning ecological, social and cultural resources risen. However, tourism and its effects are only a part of the cruise sector. Besides cruise tourism, cruise shipbuilding plays a crucial role for the city`s economy, as a shipyard of Fincantieri, Europe`s largest shipbuilder, is located in Marghera, the industrial area on the mainland of Venice. 130 km north of Venice, a second Fincantieri shipyard is located in Monfalcone. While popular media discourses focus on Venice and the effects of cruise tourism for the city and its lagoon, the employment of workers from the global south dominates societal and political debates in Monfalcone.

In my talk, I want to trace the interconnections between cruise tourism and shipbuilding, which reflects not only in debates concerning infrastructures in both cities, but also in both opposing and overlapping attitudes and needs of environmental activists and industrial workers.

Panel P059
Sea Economies: Labour, Infrastructure and New Techno-Environmental Horizons