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.