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Page history last edited by Leah Nichols 13 years, 5 months ago

Editor: Leah Nichols





Guinea-Bissau, West Africa





• Native

(Recorded and complied by Lorenzo Bordonaro’s “Living At the Margins”- an Anthropology dissertation)


• Tourist

(Represented by Adam Nossiter’s articles- NY Times writer and West African bureau chief)


• Native v. Tourist





• Negative, marginalized perspective

• Sense of isolation, disconnectedness

• Lacks physical link to mainland- safe, rapid, inexpensive means of transportation

• Lacks communication to rest of islands and the world- telephone,mail, radio, television?

• Desires for mobility, modernity- especially among youth





• Positive, exoticized perspective

• Sense of discovery of virgin paradise, slightly colonial (ex. “The magical wilds of West Africa”)

• Live observation of real village culture (ex. women carrying things on their heads)

• “If you have a tasts for decay, ruins, moldering colonial architecture, a first-hand glimpse of West Africa’s social and political troubles, and excellent Portuguese restaurants, you won’t regret spending a night or two in Bissau.” -Nossiter

• Desires for both voyeuristic travel with “tranqiul” isolation


? ? ?


• Village culture (native)= stigmatization of rural backwards villages, contrasted with development

Village culture (tourist) = special, foreign traditions or practices preserved over hundreds of years


• Isolation (native) = excluded from international discourse and means for development

Isolation (tourist) = “The laid-back scene on the Bijagos islands is unlikely to change anytime soon because of their hard-to-get-to location.”


• Sea (native) = barrier to progress, a curse

Sea (tourist) = “In the morning, there are sparkling waters that separate the Bijagos from the mainland.”





Bordonaro, Lorenzo Ibrahim.  "Living at the Margins: Youth and Modernity in the Bijago Islands (Guinea-Bissau)."  University Institute for Social Sciences, Business Studies and Technologies.  Department of Anthropology.  September 2006.


Nossiter, Adam (West African bureau chief). "Bijagos, a Tranquil Haven in a Troubled Land."  New York Times.  November 8, 2009.


Comments (3)

Annette Diniz said

at 9:48 am on Feb 2, 2011

This difference of perspective is really important to this class. Thanks for doing this comparasion/analysis.

blam@cca.edu said

at 10:55 am on Feb 2, 2011

The local/native disparity is a running theme throughout the world (also something to pay attention to in Peter's Kaua'i studio! Hawai'i is definitely exoticized...), but what solutions might we suggest to avoid the misrepresentations and misconceptions of outsiders/foreigners/travelers/etc.? Furthermore, I would pose this question to the entire class: How might the objectives of organizations such as the Orebock Foundation be compromised (e.g. viewed as hegemonic) and what steps could be taken to prevent this?

SfWhitehorn@gmail.com said

at 6:17 pm on Feb 7, 2011

Leah, I think this is a very important segment of our research. Often we romanticize over these untouched islands; we are conditioned to do so through exotic magazine covers, advertisements, tourism marketing, etc. and often are naive to the tensions and taboos at the ground level. This helped me out in terms of realizing some kind of true empathy for the inhabitants.

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