1. Setting the frame
1.a. SPFE- Society for the Preservation of the (wild) Fauna of the Empire
2.a. Master-servant relation in ecotourism
2.b. Master-servant relation in sex tourism
Colonialism and Neo-Colonialism
The seminar dealt with the issue of colonialism and neo-colonialism. The discussion was mainly based on four articles followed by five questions that were given as a guideline for the seminar. The following articles have been used: “Dukes earls, and ersatz Edens: aristocratic nature preservations in colonial Africa” by Neumann, “Third World tourism as neo-colonialism” by Pleumarom, “There's no such thing as ecotourism” by Rufus and “Mainstreaming holiday sex and the neo-colonial attitude” by Michel. The first four questions discussed the notion of colonialism as reflected in the work of the Society for the Preservation of the Fauna of the Empire. The fifth question was to critically evaluate that colonialism is not dead, relying on the last three articles mentioned above that concerned the workings of corporate tourism industry. To broaden the topic of neo-colonialism, two more articles have been introduced: “Passion, Power and Politics in a Palestinian Tourist Market” by Glen Bowman and “Neocolonialism in the sex trade” by Simmons. Both papers take a closer look at the issue of ‘master-servant relation’, one focuses on the example of Palestinian merchants and the other on Dominican women.
The seminar was to demonstrate that colonialism as understood in past terms is no longer existent, yet it developed new forms of oppressions that are skilfully camouflaged in the actions of corporate tourism companies based in developed countries that control most of the tourism industry in the undeveloped world. The attitude of the visitors towards the visited is reflected in the complex ‘master-servant relations’ that are discussed in the second part on the example of Green tourism and sex tourism.
1. Setting the frame
The seminar opened with a brief explanation of two terms: colonialism and imperialism in order to draw a distinction between them and so ensure better understanding of the topic. The definitions were taken from the web page of the Princeton University (2007).
Colonialism – exploitation by a stronger country of weaker one; the use of the weaker country's resources to strengthen and enrich the stronger country
Imperialism - a political orientation that advocates imperial interests/ a policy of extending your rule over foreign countries
The term colonialism was further illustrated with a cartoon (Hall, 1997) that shows an innocent white girl with her adult African doll. This picture reflects the relations between the colonists and the colonised, the superior behaviour of the first towards the latter who need to be looked after. The doll can be read either as a symbol of child-like innocence and pure intentions towards the colonised, or in satirical terms, as a representative of naïve attitude towards and complete ignorance of the inhabitants of the black continent.
To further set the context for the discussion, the term “emparkment” had to be explained, a phenomenon which had considerable influence on the establishment of the SPFE. Enclosure was the process in 18th and 19th century in UK, backed by parliamentary acts, in which arable land (with the common right of access) was fenced and turned into ‘naturalised’ private parks for the sole use of the aristocracy for hunting. For the legions of poor people this meant a loss of their homes and source of living and it was often accompanied by force, resistance, and bloodshed. The dispossessed people were forced into towns and cities where they became labourers in the Industrial Revolution. This phenomenon is extremely important in trying to understand the motifs of SPFE for creating national parks in Africa. The parks were perceived not only as an extension of British countryside but also as a restoration of power of British aristocracy, who started to lose its political influence with the establishment of the 1911 Parliament Act. It abolished the power of House of Lords, and further strengthened the powers of House of Commons, whose members came from the middle-class. This act changed the traditional social relations between the upper and lower classes and distorted the master–servant relation that for centuries defined British way of life. The colonies were therefore seen by the aristocracy as a prolongation of the old order.