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Contesting urban heritage, memories, and belonging across tourism landscapes in African cities 
Akbar Keshodkar (Moravian University)
Mailys Chauvin (LAM-CNRS, Sciences Po Bordeaux, France)
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Urban Studies (x) Futures (y)
Philosophikum, S57
Wednesday 31 May, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

The panel explores how tourism facilitates production and circulation of narratives of urban heritage and memories by non-state actors contesting state-directed representations, contributes to building resilience and notions of belonging, and guides aspirations for urban futures in African societies

Long Abstract:

Tourism has ignited prospects in African cities to contest state-directed narratives and become a space for building new forms of resilience. Situated within the neo-liberal tourism discourse of consuming African places and spaces, the return and engagement of the diaspora in cities of their origin, along with locals, states, or global actors (UNESCO), increasingly challenge the monopoly previously enjoyed by African states in framing representations of urban heritage and history. These developments create new opportunities for constructing alternative urban heritage objects and memory narratives by residents and diaspora (returnees and non-returnees) and formulating new frameworks of belonging to constitute their identities in these cities.

The panel invites papers exploring how competing tourism-directed narratives of urban heritage and memories produced and circulated by these actors contest state-directed representations and guide aspirations for projecting alternative urban futures in African societies.

Some questions papers should consider: how do these actors utilize tourism to appropriate urban objects and elements of culture (ordinary and official buildings, architecture, monuments, know-how, arts, foods, languages) for imagining competing projects to formulate notions of local identities? What are the interactions between locals, the diaspora, and other non-state actors in this process? How do “glocal” collaborations promote alternative forms of tourism consumption and reshape landscapes of tourism sites, products, and interests? How do these alternative forms of urban tourism contribute to residents' economies and lives and serve as a space for new forms of resilience? How do these processes contribute to reshaping urban citizenship and identities in African cities?

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Wednesday 31 May, 2023, -