Accepted Paper:

Experiencing preserves: new models of locality consumption in rural Transylvania  

Author:

Monica Stroe (National University of Political Studies and Public Administration Bucharest)

Paper short abstract:

The research focuses on the globalizing impact of the international ‘identity entrepreneurs’ and the global knowledge fluxes involved in shaping the food and agritourism market in rural Transylvania: the production and consumption of locality and landscape, models of negotiating authenticity.

Paper long abstract:

Throughout this paper I reflect on the transformations occurred in the case of Tarnava Mare region, a former Saxon area in rural Transylvania, currently an emerging tourism and food brand correlated to wider patterns of consumption of place, constructed for an urban, cosmopolitan audience.

The research focuses on the globalizing impact of the 'identity entrepreneurs' and the global knowledge fluxes involved in shaping the food and agritourism market: the production and consumption of locality and landscape, models of negotiating authenticity.

The branding and consumption processes are based on global policies and practices in local development, tourism, gastronomy (e.g. the Slow Food Movement, UNESCO) and are put forward by global actors: in 1997, Prince Charles of Great Britain first came to Transylvania in search of his own heritage in the Saxon region. His further advocacy and entrepreneurial initiatives of organic agriculture and rural tourism inaugurated and legitimized this model of local development. The local branding process aggregates an international network of stakeholders around the rural Saxon region, triggered in a national context of public agenda debates on local development, decentralization, but also national identity, country branding (the post EU accession years). It also activates a rhetoric engaging topics such as sustainable development, ethnicity politics, food-related policies and practices (terroir/organic/ homemade/traditional.

On the basis of ethnographic work I also describe the participatory and sensory means of consumption of heritage.

Panel P323
Spaces, memories, history, identity