札哈哈蒂:房子能浮起來嗎?11

札哈哈蒂:建筑還有一個層面,是大家忘記的。建筑應該令人喜悅--在一個美妙的地方,令人覺得喜悅。一間漂亮的房間,大小并不重要。大家對于奢侈經常誤解;奢侈其實和價格無關。這是建筑該做的事情--以較大的尺度讓你感到奢侈。(Photo Appreciation: MAXXI Museum by Shahrzad Gh)

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Comment by 就是冷門 on November 12, 2022 at 5:22pm


熊本縣和水町×熊本縣立大學——鄉山再生「建設溫馨之鄉」項目

8年前,大型企業要在這裏建廠。在企業、行政、熊本縣立大學三者的合作推動下持續至今,使梯田和農田重新煥發生機。學生們種出的無農藥大米出現在大學食堂餐桌上。

插秧的景象


與當地居民進行交流

玉名郡和水町位於熊本縣北部,跟福岡縣鄰接,此處山間有一處「和睦森林」,隨著人口劇減而人跡罕至。但在這一片荒蕪的鄉裏山間,卻回蕩起了學生和地區的孩子們杵年糕的號子聲,慰勞一年農忙辛勞的杵年糕大會成了毎年慣例。

梯田裏整齊地擺放著秋天收割後的稻草束,一旁牛和山羊吃草的怡然風景展現在人們眼前。

鄉山再生活動「溫馨之鄉項目」開始至今快要有8年了。活動毎月舉辦1回。參加活動的有:以地區居民為主體的「溫馨之鄉協議會」以及熊本縣立大學的教職員工和學生們,毎回都有許多學生自發地參加插秧、割稻、保養鄉間道路等活動,通過各類勞動,在辛勤揮汗的同時,也加深了與地區居民的交流。

起因是征地建廠

           杵年糕大會


熊本縣立大學為了在各個領域與行政部門、企業等進行合作,制定了振興地區、調查研究等綜合協定制度,並為貫徹該大學「地區實學主義」理念的教育,在各地區開展著各種活動。

活動之一的該項目目的在於:通過大學與行政、企業合作,開展持續性活動,讓荒蕪的鄉山得以再生後,能吸引地區居民和孩子們来遊玩。

項目舞臺是約20公頃的鄉山,原本是當地人們從事農業、休養生息的傳統鄉山,可是,隨著現代化以及少子老齡化,人們不再問津鄉裏山間,被放棄的鄉山田地裏雜草灌木叢生,鄉間道路也消失了,最後變成了荒山。

活動的起因是2005年富士電機系統株式會社(現為:富士電機控股公司)在熊本縣建廠。該公司在鄰接和水町的南關町建立了太陽能電池製造廠,並決定在該地區開展奉獻社會、與環境共生的CSR活動,此地被選為該公司與熊本縣政府以及大學聯手合作的活動場所,於2007年2月啟動了該項目。

重現梯田和農田

活動初始,高過人頭的草木茂密叢生,想踏足山裏都不是件容易的事,通過采伐、開墾、放牧這種不亞於開拓時期的活動力度,逐漸恢復了原來的面貌,以山腳下的開闊地為中心重新開墾了梯田和農田,在那裏學生們種植的無農藥大米,被送到大學食堂的餐桌上。森林裏的鄉間道路也得到修繕,成了當地孩子們也能漫步的步行山路。通過持續地再生活動,許多學生因感受到不斷變化的鄉山面貌的魅力,在校期間一直都參加這項活動。

成為可持續的活動

在縣行政部門的扶持下,在當地建造了山間小屋「冠翠鳥」作為活動據點。建造接近完工的2014年2月,突然傳來一則令人震驚消息:從初始階段至今,一直為活動提供贊助的富士電機熊本工廠將要轉讓給外資企業。學生的交通費、各種勞動工具及夥食費等,該事業的大部分活動經費是來源於這家工廠的贊助,因此大家都擔心活動是否還能持續下去。

一旦人們撤離了好不容易剛剛再生的鄉山,不要多長時間就會重新變回原來的荒山。

一想到至今為止無數參與活動的學生以及地區居民開墾荒山的辛勞,無論是大學還是鄉政府都沒有後退的選擇。

為了擺脫困境,在大學向日本文部科學省2014年度公開招募的「構築地(知)據點事業(大學COC事業)」提交申請並獲得到批準的同時,和水町也向林野庁「為發揮森林山村多樣性策略提供資金援助事業」提交了申請也獲得了批准,總算擺脫了眼前的危機。

熊本縣立大學之所以積極參加這項活動並非是將活動當作一般的慈善活動,而是將它定位為培養人才活動的一個環節,為了讓該活動成為可持續的活動,本想將它作為正規課程的一部分形成學分製度,但是每回都參加活動的學生則提出了反對意見∶「我們都是憑自己的愛好參加活動的,反對以學分為目的的人加入」,所以此事需要慎重考慮。不過,學生們有這樣的反應,其本身是一件可喜的事,為了讓這類持積極態度的學生人數不斷增多,今後,我們打算跟鄉政府合作,開展以鄉山為據點的交流以及野外調查等新事業。文/髙本篤(熊本縣立大學地區合作研究推動中心參事 / 2014年12月22日 產學研合作

延續閱讀動漫文創·動漫+文創:揭秘日本文化IP產業鏈(下)

Comment by 就是冷門 on October 11, 2022 at 3:07pm

文創企業產品開發

近年來,「文創」是一個非常熱的詞語,越來越多的商業業態與文化創意元素進行跨界混搭。許多人以為文創設計就是將某種帶有文化屬性的圖文附加在現有的產品上,這樣的理解並不是正確的。

故宮文創節氣海報

文創產品是是從文化的不同方面詮釋的一種物化形態,也就是說文化才是文創產品設計的重要元素。設計師利用原生文化的美學特征、人文精神、文化元素,再通過自身對文化的理解和詮釋,將其與產品相結合,最終形成文化創意產品。

因此要想設計出受歡迎和有內涵的文創產品,首先要深入了解對應的文化,最重要則是如何選擇可用的文化元素。蘊涵文化氣息的產品會在無形中提高自身的價值,在同類產品中脫穎而出。 一起來看看別人家有優秀的文創設計產品吧~

01 故宮博物院

說到文創,沒有人會忽略故宮博物館,這座將近百歲的建築在現在依然受到了很大歡迎,文創產品功不可沒。

2014年,故宮微信公眾號發送了一篇叫做《雍正:感覺自己萌萌噠》的推文,從此故宮的文創屬性開始覺醒。隨後,掌握了「流量密碼」的故宮推出了「朕就是這樣漢子」折扇等一系列創意的文創產品。故宮文創多次在朋友圈刷屏,成為網紅中的清流。

2016年推出的紀錄片《我在故宮修文物》獲得豆瓣評分9.4分,在年輕群體中的口碑很好。故宮IP對應的受眾變得年輕化,與之相對應地,文創產品的設計也開始切合年輕人的使用習慣,故宮推出了「國寶色」口紅、每日故宮APP等產品。


02 西西弗書店

西西弗書店是國內獨立書店中的佼佼者,註重引導讀者進行精品和深度閱讀,這一點從西西弗書店的裝修和文創產品中就可以看出來。書店裝修采用墨綠色的色調,歐式櫥窗和紅黑配色是它的特色,整個書店布局清新雅致,給人一種簡約美,營造出濃厚的閱讀氛圍。

下圖是西西弗書店的會員卡,標誌性的深紅色和手繪、插畫元素相結合,再加上書店主打與「閱讀的力量」,看起來非常有情懷。文創產品的設計和品牌的視覺形象一致,既能體現品牌特色,又能增加美感。


03 大英博物館

大英博物館成立於1753年,館內有800多萬件藏品,是世界上規模最大、最著名的博物館之一。

下圖是大英博物館推出的木乃伊棺槨造型鉛筆盒,設計師在鉛筆盒上繪製了古埃及木乃伊的插畫,消費者打開鉛筆盒時就能感受到歷史的莊嚴感。雖說是棺槨,卻又一點也不陰森,別具風情。

04 企鵝圖書

「三段式書封」是企鵝出版社的經典造型, 2009 年英國皇家郵政局發行的「影響英國的十個經典設計」的郵票中,企鵝「三段式」書封與雙層巴士、MINI 汽車一起成為了代表英倫文化的符號。

因此企鵝圖書在推出文創產品時首先選擇的就是「三段式」設計,下圖是企鵝三段式帆布袋、陶瓷馬克杯等周邊產品。顏色清新明快,樣式俏皮可愛,又不失文學氣息。

依托於文創產品,濃厚的歷史文化不再只是停留在史書、影像中,它們以更貼近日常生活的方式不斷向我們靠近,越來越年輕化、越來越鮮活有力;被賦予了文化價值的產品,其內涵也隨之提高,而不再僅僅停留於產品層面。(原題「文創」概念都被玩壞了,來看看真正的文創產品設計)/https://www.canva.cn

Comment by 就是冷門 on May 11, 2022 at 10:43pm

Chaim Noy·The Poetics of Tourist Experience: An Autoethnography of a Family Trip to Eilat 1

(Chaim Noy,2007,The Poetics of Tourist Experience: An Autoethnography of a Family Trip to Eilat,Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change. January 2007, P141-157) 

This paper is an autoethnographic exploration of a tourist’s experience. Through interpreting qualitative material, in the form of a poem I wrote in 1994 about a short familial excursion to an Israeli seaside resort city (Eilat), the research seeks to sensitively describe the intricacies of travel experience. The research explores the advantages of the autoethnographic method of inquiry, and discusses tourism-related emotions and memories in the context of performance and representation. The paper joins recent efforts in attempting to challenge and loosen the grip of positivist epistemologies and discourses on mainstream tourism studies, by illustrating the emotional complexities and contradictions in the travel experience of tourists. In line with traditions

of critical research in sociology, the exploration sheds light on the materiality of texts and on the role language plays in tourism, viewing the poem read in this paper (‘Quiet Eilat’) simultaneously as a representation, performance and material object of discourse.

 

Keywords: performance, qualitative methodology, language, family, travel literature, poetic expression


Introduction: Performing Experience Research into the experiences of tourists, commonly referred to as the ‘tourist experience’, has a respectable tradition within the sociological research of tourists (Cohen, 1974, 1979). Through employing the conceptual categories suggested by Cohen, various researches productively explored the typology of tourists’ possible and actual experiential modes (Lengkeek, 2001; Sternberg,

1997; Wickens, 2002). These works have further enhanced as well as criticized Cohen’s early tourist typologies. Generally, they directed scholarly attention to the unique experiential characteristics of tourists’ phenomenology, and contributed to the growing understanding of the intertwined psychological, social and

cultural possibilities that are promoted and embodied by modern tourism.


While invaluable, Cohen’s formulations tended to stimulate highly theoretical research, often aiming at neat conceptual categories and clear theoretical typologies. Due to this tendency, researches neglected the details of tourists’ lived experience, and did not allocate sufficient grounds for these experiences before theorizing and conceptually categorizing them. Indeed, although Cohen’s early works were inspired by phenomenological and existential trends of thought, new methodologies, that would have captured in more sensitive and informed ways the ‘tourist experience,’ did not follow. The present exploration addresses this state of affairs by pursuing the following sensitivities and sensibilities.

First, close – even intimate – attention is paid to the experiences themselves. Indeed, the bulk of the paper is devoted to a detailed evocation of the experience of a tourist excursion. The emotional dimension of the tourist experience is elaborated, with emphasis on negative hues, which are not commonly associated with tourists’ experiences and emotions.

Comment by 就是冷門 on December 7, 2021 at 11:31am

(To be Con't)Second, the exploration seeks innovative methodologies – autoethnography in the present case, which can communicate experience and reconstruct it in vivid, lively and sometimes painful ways. By pursuing the research of experience in an evocative fashion, a presentation is possible whereby insights into and appreciation of the subject matter of experience is reached. In this regard, the present research is part of recent advancements in tourism research methodologies (Aitchison, 2000; Ateljevic et al., 2007; Botterill, 2003).


Third, the field of ‘tourist experience’ is presently construed as an integral part of everyday experience of people living in late-modern times in affluent societies. Following the advancements made by Urry (1990), this research holds with the notions that the cultures of tourism, and the experiences these cultures embody and endow, are but one sphere of the whole of our lived, everyday experiences. According to this view, the notion of ‘tourist experience’ entails a dazzling array of human experiences that emerge when people engage in the

sphere of tourism, via its many institutional extensions, representations and guises. The point is that people are constantly in touch with various cultures of tourism, and are, in one way or another, ‘much of the time “tourists”’ (Urry, 1990: 82). Hence the tourist experience is often an extension of people’s everyday experiences, amounting, as Richards and Wilson (2004: 254) note, to a ‘home plus’ experience.


Fourth, tourists’ behaviors, including the expression of feelings, emotions,  experiences, and memories are presently conceived as performances. Following the above notion concerning the cultures of tourism, the category ‘tourist’ is construed as one which engulfs a cultural symbol of modern experience (MacCannell, 1976). This symbol can be embodied through different roles people assume when they uptake tourism endeavors. In this vein, embodying tourist roles means performing tourism. Tourism is construed as a discerned set of aesthetic activities which take place in discernable spaces wherein tourists do not only cast the tourist gaze, but are also the subjects and objects of that gaze (Adler, 1989; Edensor, 1998).

More specifically, it means performing various states of experience and modes of being on the international social stages of tourism. However, since the borders between tourists’ experiences and everyday experiences are continuously blurring, some tourism-related activities, which are not performed within designated tourist spaces, are also construed as tourist or tourist-related performances (Noy, 2004). Such is the present case, where travel writing in the form of a poem, is construed and interpreted as a product (and a trace) of tourist performance.


A Tourist Autoethnography

Autoethnography is a critical and reflexive way of inquiry that flourished mainly within the North American qualitative movement in the social sciences during the last decade. Appreciating the strengths and weaknesses of this way of inquiry, as well as the implications it bears and the impact it carries on various fields of research, requires acknowledging its inherent relation to the diverse family of qualitative research methodologies (Denzin & Lincoln, 2000).

Yet even within the family of qualitative research methodologies autoethnography presents a rather radical approach; a subversive and oftentimes provocative relative. Autoethnography is a way of inquiry that is wholeheartedly – morally, emotionally and ideologically – committed to the subject of the research, namely to people and to their complex, intricate lives and experiences.

Comment by 就是冷門 on November 8, 2021 at 11:54am

(To be Con't)In this respect, autoethnographical research shares grounds with performance studies, symbolic interaction, feminist research, and similar schools of thought, both recent and traditional, within the social sciences.


Further, autoethnography is unique in that its power lies within its discursive, written mode. It is a text. The term literally entails the definition of the inquiry procedure: the researcher addresses herself or himself (‘auto’), as a subject of a larger social, cultural or institutional group (‘ethno’), by ways of revealing research and writing (‘graphy’, Ellis, 1997, see also Bochner & Ellis, 2002; Ellis & Bochner, 1996). The autoethnographic work aspires to tell of those constitutive dimensions that in conventional sociological research are erased or

play a backstage role. In addition to personal, lived experience, autoethnographic research explores voice, emotions, processes (rather than results or products) and embodied senses and knowledges, as a part of ‘the guerrilla warfare against the repressive structures of everyday lives’ (Denzin, 1999: 572).


Often, autoethnographic research investigates the relationship between researchers, their fields of inquiry and their informants, thus supplying innovative perspectives on the underlying assumptions and discourses of various academic disciplines, as well as on the process of socialization and disciplining in academia (Jones, 1998; Noy, 2003). As a method that is centered on the scholar herself or himself, autoethnography is inescapably an emotionally painstaking exercise, a type of ethnography that ‘breaks your heart’ (Behar, 1996).

The evocative and provocative effects accomplished by autoethnographic work, are mainly due to the genre’s literary form(s), including poetry, fiction, novels, personal essays, fragmented and layered writing, and more (Ellis & Bochner, 2000: 739). These forms are tailored to the social and cultural reality that is being studied – tourism, in the present case. Hence through a poeticized and personalized case-study, autoethnography forces the tourists – ourselves – to inquire into and to challenge our experiences, which would otherwise be dismissed as ‘recreational’, ‘superficial’, ‘fun’, and so on, in a reflexive and informed manner.


Autoethnographizing our tourist experiences soon reveals that there is more, indeed much more, to the sphere of tourist experience than leisurely experiences or other types of positive experiences. Rather, this type of critical and reflexive text forces us to admit to how much of tourism-endowed experience resonates with feelings of sadness and alienation. It seems that as tourists, i.e. people performing tourism, we are not permitted to feel or to acknowledge alienation or despair. While it is legitimate to occasionally admit to a sense of disappointment – as one traveller once revealed, ‘India was much warmer and humid than the pictures I saw show’, – or to cathartically experience powerful feelings of collective mourning and grief, such as is the case in dark tourism, expressing more mundane alienated feelings is almost a taboo.

Comment by 就是冷門 on October 14, 2021 at 10:27am

Furthermore, regardless of the different type of tourism involved, in the capacity tourists are performers, they are constantly under the gaze of other people, such as tourists, locals, and tourist operators, and their behaviors are constantly regulated and monitored so as to avoid ‘improper’ expressions (Aitchison, 2000; Fullagar, 2002). While the show on the stages of international tourism must go on, ‘deviant’ behaviors, emotions and experiences are effectively, even if subtly, sanctioned. 

Lastly, because the autoethnographic text presents highly personal, perhaps intimate moments of lived experience, and because it is ideally suited to explore the relationship between researchers and their disciplines, it is potentially a delicate endeavor. Autoethnography has the capacity of revealing and rearranging academic institutional relationships by illuminating the normative, taken for granted axioms of various fields of research, with which researchers comply, which they resist, and with which they engage in alternative ways (Jones, 1998; Noy, 2003).


Nathan and I The present exploration addresses a poem I wrote, that describes a short family excursion to the resort city of Eilat, located in the southmost tip of Israel (by the Red Sea, on the way leading to the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula). After presenting the poem, the paper turns to interpretation – integrating academic discourse and further personal recollections and insights in the aim of creating a rich and informed account of the trip’s experiences and the meanings they bear.


The poem, ‘Quiet Eilat’, is a naïve piece. It was written in the winter of 1994, before my academic career had led me to research tourism (and before I became reflexive about tourism discourses and research). Since I am not an accomplished poet, the piece is best conceived as a stylized journal entry, a part of a travelogue aesthetically depicting memories and feelings I had after spending an off-season, December excursion in a nearly empty resort city. It is a product of a literary form, and may thus be viewed, at least partly, as a tourist performance of the type of ‘reminiscing’ (Edensor, 2000: 135–148), revealing the emotional ‘lows’ of tourism.


Crucially, the journey took place during the winter, clearly an ‘off-season’ in Eilat. Although Eilat is located in the southern-most, warmer part of the country, it is windy in the winter and quite empty of visitors. This emptiness creates a sense of desertedness, which also radiates desolation. 

Furthermore, the traveling family included several family relatives, including Nathan, who is particularly dear to me. Nathan is five years younger than me and since I was an only child (and much closer to my mother’s side of the family), Nathan was as close to being a brother to me in my childhood as I could ever have. We spent many enjoyable summer vacations together, both during the years he lived in Israel, and later, after his family emigrated to the United States. We usually made fun of our unmarried maternal aunts, would build ‘pillow houses’ in their living rooms, and would go together to the Kfar-Saba beach and have ‘sand fights’.

Comment by 就是冷門 on October 13, 2021 at 10:34am

During Nathan’s college years, an acute and degenerative mental illness irrupted. (Actually, the first irruption

occurred while he was visiting Israel.) This chronic illness, with its various medications and long periods of hospitalizations, bleakly colors Nathan’s young adulthood years. Although Nathan felt better during our trip to Eilat, and was able to travel, we were concerned with his health and well-being.2 Nathan’s illness, though in a latent state then, had colored the experience of the trip, and combined with the effect of an ‘off-season’, empty resort city, had created a melancholic sentiment. Finally, as I read the piece while preparing this paper, I realized it was addressed to him, then 21, as a birthday gift (which I never delivered).


Quiet Eilat

Playing table-tennis with Nathan in Eilat

in Winter-time Eilat

Muddy remains of floods

that swept across town

from the red-granite canyons in the East

to the deep marine-blue canyons in the gulf.

The air is fresh and the breeze is cool

Neta is happy-angry

Ruth is relaxing

Meira is not (she’s being Meira)

At night we walk. All five.

Our silhouettes on the promenade are reflected in the dark water

where noiseless fish glide swiftly

You and I at front, marching an invisible colorful

American band

pam pararam pam pam pararam pam pam


Quiet Eilat

Playing table-tennis with Nathan in Eilat in the

late-afternoon

gusts of wind divert the light white ball.

We face south

to where our memories of Sinai are distant but crystal:

the striped red-and-white legendary air-mattress

floating gently atop the tide by the shore

a flaccid penis of a red-burned nudist lying outside our tent in Dahab and

I’m worried – when will my aunts wake up…

later in the afternoon

a nude couple walking hand in hand between the palms and the sea line

Nathan finds the beach exciting but

we drive into the mountains

to look back at the view: sparkling blue Red Sea

to find a Spring that the book says should be there
(‘volume: four cubic meters’)

Then we drive north on our way back home

We drink ‘Yotvata’ chocolate milk at Yotvata

We have a lot of fun

transformation of fun into memory

transformation of memory into a poem

transformation of a poem into a present


Languages of tourism


What initially struck me about the poem is that it is written in English. Although for none of the persons mentioned in the poem English is a native tongue (albeit Nathan has been living in Los Angeles since childhood), the poem is nonetheless written in English. I take this point to be indicative of, and relating to, the subject of the poem and to the realm from which it is extracted. Writing in a different language is in itself an estranged experience, reminiscing through the act of writing the sense of foreignness evoked in the tourist trip.


English is the lingua franca of globalization and global capitalism, and in this capacity it is also the international language of tourism. In performing tourism, people symbolically depart from their daily habits and from the languages of their everyday lives and assume different modes of representation and being: different languages, experiences and identities (Clifford, 1997). In other words, suggesting that tourism offers vocabulary and syntax for behavior and experience can be a literal matter at times, which can assume the form of writing and talking in ‘international English’.

Comment by OVEPI on October 11, 2021 at 6:30pm

This is most salient when at stake are non-Anglo-Saxon and non-Western tourists.3 Indeed, this ‘translation’ into the international language of tourism occurs even when the tourist excursion is not of an international nature, but of an intra-national nature; still, the experience is that of foreignness and distance.


As Nathan Zach, one of Israel’s foremost contemporary poets writes: ‘we met outside our lives/in Eilat’. English, then, symbolically amounts not only to language but also to space: a foreign, unfamiliar and perhaps deserted space that lies ‘outside’ lives, much like the resort city of Eilat. Hence, in and through discursive representation the author’s voice evokes different spaces which have different experiential hues. Writing a sullen poem in English echoes the feelings of being a ‘sad tourist’, employing the means of tourism – divides of spaces and languages, in order to communicate an alienated experience. Put differently, translation is in and of itself a medium of communication, one which is ‘never entirely neutral; it is enmeshed in the relationships of power’ (Clifford, 1997: 182). Obviously, this discussion pertains to the writing of this The Poetics of Tourist Experience 147 paper as well, where translation is never complete and continuously frustrating.


Bi-polar emotions


The title of the poem, ‘Quiet Eilat’, as well as the phrase ‘Winter-time Eilat’, present an expression that is oxymoronic. Being a resort city, the experiences related to Eilat are associated with summertime, amusement parks, golden, sandy beaches, ice cream cones and other such components of recreational times and experiences. Yet off-season, this manic state is reversed, and the noisiness and verbosity tourists produce is replaced by the quietness their emptiness leaves. This feeling is captured in the first stanza, where ‘Muddy remains of floods’ are mentioned, alluding metaphorically to floods of tourists who rush through spaces of consumption during the high times of consumption (the ‘tourist season’). Visiting such sites out of season means encountering the ‘trace’ or the ‘signature’ (in the Derridian sense, Derrida, 1988) of masses of tourists. As Toni Morrison writes, ‘a void maybe empty but it is not a vacuum’ (in Bhabha, 1994: 77). That is, what is not present but somehow apparent bears powerfully on experience. While the tourist season represents the experience of being ‘in the right place in the right time,’ visiting Eilat during off-season amounts to being inthe right place’ yet ‘in the wrong time’. Remains or leftovers of high times, of the ‘right time’, are clearly visible. A bi-polar effect is experienced, where no middle grounds are available: either high-season mania or off-season depression.


The remains of other times are crucial in evoking and in echoing an affecting sense of alienation and aloneness. They translate into an experience of being ‘out of synch’ – and also ‘out of place’, with other people, with the ‘normative tourist’ who travels at the right time. More concretely, the visibility of ‘Muddyremains’ indicates the obvious fact that during periods when no tourists or visitors arrive in Eilat, the mayor and council of the city are not concerned with the town’s appearance. A sense of being in an empty ‘ghost town’ emerges. Yet this sense is complicated by the knowledge that Eilat is not truly a ghost town, butthat its 44,000 residents are nearly invisible, even in the eyes of their chosen local council.

Comment by OVEPI on October 11, 2021 at 10:27am

Thin strip of sanityThe geographical scene at which the family arrives is of a dramatic nature: on one side, barren granite mountains of northern Sinai, on other side, the gleaming Gulf of ‘Aqaba. In between these canyonsides a short coastal strip of plain extends, on which Eilat is built (Azaryahu, 2006; Lavie, 1990: 47). While the description is realistic and true to the region’s topography, it also reveals the twofold social tensions the poem evokes: a thin stretch of ground between the steep mountains and the underwater canyons indexes a thin stretch of time that exists between touristic ‘highs’ and ‘lows’. Also, a thin stretch of inhabitable sanity exists between emotional extremes, a stretch of equilibrium on which Nathan, and all the rest of us, are pacing. In the capacity touristic sites and places, such as Eilat, are symbolic or of symbolic dimensions (Edensor, 1998), they possess unique qualities: they can come to mirror and embody their visitors’ state(s) of mind.


Historically, such symbolic roles played by natural landscapes have early antecedents, which are located at the very moments of the emergence of tourism as a system of symbols encompassing nature. This occurred in the Romantic era, quite sometime before mass modern tourism appeared and commercialized the association between experience and nature (Tobias, 1979, 1995). In a book that poetically inquires into the relationship between nature, art and modernity, Tobias observes Shelley’s description of scenic, mountainous landscape. The following short extract was written in the summer of 1811, upon the English poet’s visit to Wales, where he compared the landscape to a ‘situation of the mind’:


This country of Wales is excessively grand; rocks piled on each other to tremendous heights, rivers formed into cataracts by their projections, and valleys clothed with woods, present an appearance of enchantment – but why do they enchant, why is it more affecting than a plain, it cannot be innate, is it acquired? (Percy Shelley, in Tobias, 1995: 182)


For Tobias, Shelley’s writing represents a unique moment of emergence of a type of awareness, wherein the relationship between the ‘external’, the ‘internal’, and the social, are forged anew. Somewhere during the 19th century, physical travel has become experientially informative, or, in a word – transformative, in a familiar fashion. Hence arriving at Eilat on a tourist excursion brings together the triadic interrelation between physical scenery, the sociality of the travellers – us five, and the realm of personal experience both evoked by and performed in the poem.


Walking and remembering on the promenade in Eilat

On the promenade (‘above the surface’) in the darkness of the quiet evening, the family is engaged in what tourists commonly do, in what tourists are supposed to be doing: enjoying ourselves walking, strolling, partaking in ‘anactivity central to tourism . . . [whereby] symbolic sites are negotiated via variouspaths’ (Edensor, 1998: 105). Moreover, we engage in a particularly playful(ludic and reflexive) tourist behavior which is, literally, a performance: Nathanand I are generating noise, which is amplified by the content of our play –a dandy marching band, in order to overcome the closing quietness. We aregenerating movement in order to divorce stillness. We are playing the roles ofthe missing masses of tourists, evoking the jolly noises of how the placesounds in high season, mimicking melodies and rhythms that we cannot hearbut only recall (‘pam pararam pam pam’). Although it is a tacky NorthAmerican band that we are mimicking, the ‘post-tourist’ type of parody isnonetheless enjoyable and reassuring (Feifer, 1985). We are also alluding tothe acquired North American identity of Nathan and his family (a point to which I will return later).

Comment by 就是冷門 on October 10, 2021 at 10:19pm

During all this time Nathan and I are playing or rather trying to play table tennis. The uneven tick-tack of the hollow ball on the wooden table-board is akin to a broken metronome, and a metaphor for interrupted interpersonal communication. Although we try, we are not successful in establishing stable patterns of communication: as gusts of wind interfere in intra-traveller communication, physical reality and the reality of the social are entwined. This holds true for our interrupted interpersonal relations outside the domains of poetry and tourism – I have not been able to establish communication with Nathan, and our once close ties are severed for a number of year.


Perhaps due to frustration at our ineffective attempts at playing-communicating, I recall (by way of psychological compensation) other journeys we had enjoyed, in more or less the same familial composition. These trips were held some 15years earlier, during the late 1970s. In those trips we did not end our journey in

Eilat, but rather crossed it on the way proceeding southward, to the famed beaches of Sinai. The Sinai Peninsula was conquered by Israel in 1967 and evacuated by in 1982. In the late 70s, when it was still under Israeli occupation, it played a unique role as a truly liminal tourist space (Cohen, 1987; Lavie, 1990).

Sinai’s primordial landscapes, imbued with mythical significance in the national memory, and its spectacular beaches, had been popular destinations and places of escape for many. This is wherefrom the memories originate. The legendary red-and-white striped air mattress, about which we often reminisced years later (and about which I wrote several poems), and the nude colony: so new, fascinating and shocking for me (nudity was always strictly prohibited in Israel, cf. Lavie, 1990: 7–26).


Recollecting our earlier travel experiences introduces yet additional spaces and times. It suggests that the present excursion to Eilat is hued by our individual and shared (familial) travel biographies and recollections thereof, stretching from the time Nathan and myself were young children; from the time Nathan was still living in Israel, and his younger brother and sister – Ophir and Naomi, not yet born. And, crucially, these memories stretch from the time Nathan was well, prior to the eruption of his chronic illness. In other words, the tourist family’s retrospection is colored by major events that have transpired on the family’s stages. Our memories of our childhood excursions to Sinai amount toa story within a story, a trip within a trip, a distance within a distance. Memories of spaces are unfolding within each other, generating a disoriented, post-colonial impression.


Within the context of tourism, remembering is performative. As Edensor (1998: 137) reminds us, ‘[c]ollecting memories is part of the common-sense understanding of what holidays are for’. Indeed, this is true of all tourists: their accumulated tourist biographies both unfold and expand with every trip (Neumann, 1992, 1999). On this occasion we did not pursue the Sinai experience, but halted our trip in Eilat. Although we travelled south, we chose not to ‘break through to the other side [of Israel]’, as it were, to places that generated memories of nearly mythical quality for us, and stopped short at the southmost point under Israeli sovereignty.

愛墾網 是文化創意人的窩;自2009年7月以來,一直在挺文化創意人和他們的創作、珍藏。As home to the cultural creative community, iconada.tv supports creators since July, 2009.

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