The proper art of playing in the snow

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This paper studies disruptive Asian tourist performances at Swiss mountain resorts, in order to problematize established, mediatized Alpine tourist practices. For centuries, affluent visitors from Europe have shaped and consumed Swiss mountain space, to an extent that it has become synonymous with exclusive retreats and outdoor adventures. Classic and popular cultural representations have fostered our notion of appropriate practices, recirculating images of contemplation and/or exploration of Alpine nature. Hikers, skiers and mountaineers have internalized small routines of how to move, dress and behave “properly” in the mountains. With the explosive growth of Asian guests visiting Swiss destination, these Alpine routines and textures are destabilized, bringing about new material appropriations, rituals and sensory explorations (in particular, of snow and ice). The multimodal analysis of Swiss tourist spaces (railway stations, shopping malls, urban parks and hotels) revealed new appropriation logics at play. The paper concludes with a discussion of asymmetric representations of cultural contraflows in contemporary place branding of “Theme Park Europe”.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date17 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventMobilities and Bodies at Play: ATLAS SIG Space, Place, Mobilities Group Meeting - GRATET, Rovira i Virgili University, Tarragona, Spain
Duration: 17 Oct 201718 Oct 2017


ConferenceMobilities and Bodies at Play
LocationGRATET, Rovira i Virgili University
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