Tahiti Beyond the Postcard Power, Place, and Everyday Life

ISBN-10: 029599102X
ISBN-13: 9780295991023
Edition: 2011
Authors: Miriam Kahn
List price: $35.00 Buy it from $24.76
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Description: The "Tahiti" that most people imagine-white-sand beaches, turquoise lagoons, and beautiful women-is a product of 18th century European romanticism and persists today to serve as the bedrock of Tahiti's tourism industry. This postcard image, however,  More...

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Book details

List price: $35.00
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Publication date: 2/9/2011
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.968
Language: English

The "Tahiti" that most people imagine-white-sand beaches, turquoise lagoons, and beautiful women-is a product of 18th century European romanticism and persists today to serve as the bedrock of Tahiti's tourism industry. This postcard image, however, masks a different, less known reality. French Polynesia remains a colony of France in the 21st century and was the site of France's nuclear testing program for nearly thirty years. The dreams and desires, which the tourism industry promotes, distract from the medical nightmares and environmental destruction caused by nuclear testing. Tahitians see the burying of a bomb in their land as deeply offensive. For them, the land abounds with ancestral fertility and genealogical identity, providing them with a constant source of both physical and spiritual nourishment. The imagined and lived perspectives of Tahiti seem incompatible, yet are intricately intertwined in the political economy of French Polynesia.Tahiti Beyond the Postcardengages with questions about the subtle but ubiquitous ways in which power entangles itself in place-related ways. How does colonialism perpetuate and exploit these images? How can nuclear weapons testing exist in a place that is promoted as a pristine paradise? How and why is "Tahiti" crafted by a tourism industry whose goal is to create desire? How is this imagined product embraced, ignored, or sabotaged by Tahitians? Miriam Kahn uses interpretive frameworks of both Tahitian and European scholars, drawing upon ethnographic details that include ancient chants, picture postcards, antinuclear protests, popular song lyrics, and the legacy of Paul Gauguin's art, to provide fresh perspectives on colonialism, tourism, imagery, and the anthropology of place.Miriam Kahnis professor of anthropology at the University of Washington and author ofAlways Hungry, Never Greedy: Food and the Expression of Gender in a Melanesian Societyand coauthor ofPacific Voices: Keeping Our Cultures Alive."Miriam Kahn shows how the glamorous image of Tahiti is a fabrication, from the white sand strategically placed on its beaches to the postcard of a French woman alluringly posed as a Tahitian.Tahiti Beyond the Postcardis provocative and original, and makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of the contradictions associated with tourism and the politics of space in Tahiti."-Stuart Kirsch, University of Michigan

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Note to the Reader
Introduction
New Geographies in the Wake of Colonialism
Placentas in the Land, Bombs in the Bedrock
Keeping the Myth Alive
In the Cocoon
From Our Place to Their Place
Everyday Spaces of Resistance
E Aha Atu Ra? What Will Happen?
Notes
References
Index

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