Large objects might be the facilitators of tourism e.g.: modes of transport, or form the backdrop against which activities take place e.g.: public art, buildings, and bridges. This panel examines issues of materiality and representation in tourism through a consideration of 'the large.'
In anthropological studies of tourism materiality has tended to be considered through what are usually small things, in the form of souvenirs (e.g.: Graburn, 1976; Andrews, 2011). Exceptions of course exist and some objects are shipped home. But, by-and-large, souvenirs are necessarily small so that they can be easily carried home by tourists as a memento of their holidays. However, much tourism activity relies on the use and representation of much larger materialities. For instance, souvenirs are often representations of larger objects that are the focus of touristic practice e.g.: the Eiffel Tower. The ability to move to and through a tourism landscape relies on bigger materialities (e.g.: modes of transport). Large objects (herein called 'the large') often form the container - buildings, ships - of touristic practices. Equally, 'the large' can be the object of tourists' attention, e.g. public art. And tourism activities are often with or against a backdrop of large objects that do not travel (e.g.: buildings and bridges). This panel seeks to discuss issues of engagement with and representation of large materialities that inform tourism and its practice. Themes may include, but are not restricted to: • Techniques and technologies of capturing representations of 'the large' • The role of the body and embodiment of 'the large' • Ways of knowing 'the large' • The importance of 'the large' in representations of identity and culture for tourism purposes • Consuming 'the large' in tourism • Aesthetics of 'the large' in tourism