Accepted paper:

Imaging Cornwall - From staged photography to touristic visions of place

Authors:

Michael Ireland (Plymouth University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper advances the viewpoint that the photograph hides as much as it reveals about touristic places. Behind this staging of romanticized images is the reality of places that have become reliant on tourism.

Paper long abstract:

This paper advances the viewpoint that the photograph hides as much as it reveals about touristic places. Photographs taken of the objects of tourists attention, for example of local people engaging in 'everyday' activities such as fishing and agriculture have been staged for that purpose. Behind this staging of romanticized images is the reality of places that have become reliant on tourism. Images of the everyday world as lived by the subject of tourists photography are rarely if ever seen. Evidence for the staging of images for consumption can be found in a range of publications. The ownership of many of these images has been expropriated for use by tourism entrepreneurs. One of the consequences has been a loss of cultural significance. The paper takes as its locale the Land's End peninsula of Cornwall, in south west England. This location has for sometime been the locus of attention for a very diverse range of travellers, these include artists, writers, photographers and more recently holidaymakers and second home owners. All have been attracted to a touristic vision of place, which may not be grounded in reality. The paper shows that photographs from the 19th century to the present form the basis of these tourists imaginaries and as such can tell social scientists and policy makers much about how Cornwall continues to be seen; as somewhere exotic, yet close to home.

panel P12
Tourism and Photography