EXAMINING THE CONVERGENCE BETWEEN PHOTOGRAPH AND REPRESENTATIONS: A REVIEW OF CLOSING THE HERMENEUTIC CIRCLE Maximiliano Korstanje Ph D student John F Kennedy University, Argentina ABSTRACT Popular wisdom shows certain resistance in understanding tourism and colonialism issues inside the same process. In fact, colonialism is considered as a mechanism of conflict, exploitation and racism while tourism is deemed as a way to explore and know new customs and forge new relationships. However, colonialism and tourism have more in common that may at first appear. This paper valorizes this point as a vehicle for recovering how the principle of hospitality legitimated the conquest of America and also for analyzing tourist destination depiction regarding old colonialism ideology. Toward that end, Caton and Almeida Santos (2008) provide empirical evidence for these ideas to be reconsidered from a critical perspective. INTRODUCTION Colonialism can be very well interpreted as the geopolitical expansion of certain European nations beyond the continent (in remote places) on the basis of a sentiment of superiority and ethnocentrism aimed at subordinating the indigenous communities to their own social values. Even though most of these practices were achieved violently, peaceful measures like ideology helped in constructing a problematic bridge between West and East. On behalf of civilization and development, local resources were not only colonized and repatriated but also economically cynically exploited. From this point of view, ideology, language, literature, science and religion imposed a psychological division and virtually divided the world in two (Arendt, 1951; Said, 1996). Today these subtle methods of colonization are being changed. Religion is being replaced by late-modernity or globalization, rational development and liberal principle of shortage which gave origin to rationality and self-administration, and of course the principle of hominem viatores by tourism (Korstanje, 2007). The principle of hospitality contributed to the conquest of America because it subverted the nature of humanity and wilderness. This theoretical paper debates to what extent the old beliefs in rationality proper of colonialism still are present in our world and in tourism literature, drawing broadly on the work of Caton and Almeida Santos (2008) where the question of “Closing the hermeneutic circle” is explored. COLONIALISM In XVI century Europe, whenever travelers needed to cross certain territories, host communities obliged by bringing all necessary assistance until these visitors passed. Furthermore, such hospitality was part of human rights (heritage from Roman Empire). Spain reserved and distorted historical facts to prove its rights over America, however other nations, such as England and France, questioned the sovereignty of Spain over Americas. Certainly, some scholastic philosophers sustained the argument that the Roman Empire was physically in possession of America. Taking into consideration that Spain (Hispania) was the more Romanized province and claimed this country as its heritage. This polemic argument has not been validated and scholars have been forced to recur to another arguments. Initially, since indigenous tribes in America did not recognize and honor the principle of hospitality, deifying overtly what European considered the natural right, it was argued that aborigines were not human beings (Pagden, 1997; Korstanje, 2007). This point closed a long debate about the nature of America’s inhabitants and paved the pathway to a new discourse of domination, the travel. Pagden goes on to say that: All European Empires that had been created by covetous travelers were immersed in serious contradictions. The unwelcoming civilized States of our continent – regretted Kant -, the injustice they boast about visiting foreigner societies looks immense. These kinds of visitors not only were responsible for the conquest but also the massacre subsequently (Pagden, 1997:86). Following the ius peregrinandi doctrine Spain elaborated a politic discourse aimed to emphasize the rights of free-transit as a sign of civilization and education and tribes which do not honor this doctrine should be punished and expropriated of their lands. Thus in the conquest America, in XVI and XVII centuries, authorities promoted the importance of planning a trip with the end of expanding the previous frontiers. Thus, homo viatore figures were being reproduced as civilization’s depiction where the Roman Spirit prevailed (Altuna, 2000). Long travels or excursions needed establishments where the traveler may rest. These establishments were managed by the Catholic Church and trippers must contribute with 10% of the transported value to pay their stay (Calvo, 1996). For that reason, two terms are commonly found along with hospitality: hospital (intended to be used in case of illness) and hotel (for vacation or pleasure purposes). Derrida (2006) appears not mistaken when he affirms that hospitality may be considered an ambiguous issue. On the one hand, conditional hospitality refers to kindness to strangers because they present their patrimony and origin but at the same time, conditional hospitality does not accept any traveler without previous identification. This is exactly the case of migrants, vagrants and refugees who sometimes are traced and jailed (Derrida, 2006). By keeping with the origin of political structure, Balandier (2005) confirms any State is founded after violence and political States are part of an expiation ritual process to assure their own future. Societies throughout the world experience moments of order and chaos internally; the exercise of power allows these contradictory tendencies to coexist without problems. Thus, Gluckman (1963) considered the importance of conflict and customs in social relationships as vehicles for reproducing social tradition. His contribution consists in pointing out that archaic and modern societies play an ambiguous role in maintaining the social order. On one hand, societies promote rebellion through political competitiveness, while these rituals are intended retain different lines of power (Gluckman, 1963). POST-COLONIALISM IN SOUTH AFRICA Comaroff and Comaroff (1999) discuss missing children and organ traffic issues under post colonialism contexts: Postcolonial Africa is replete with accounts of the way in which the rich and powerful use monstrous means and freakish familiars to appropriate the life force of their lesser compatriots in order to strengthen themselves or to satisfy consuming passions. Similarly, Latin America has, throughout the 1990s, witnessed mass panic about the theft and sale, by unscrupulous gringo, of the organs of infants and youths…there, and in other part of the world, this traffic – like the international commerce in adoption and mail order matrimony- is seen as a new form of imperialism” (Comaroff and Comaroff, 1999: 283). Basically, this work is aimed to address the following questions: Why now does there appear to be a dramatic intensification of appeals to enchantment, to the use of the bodies of some for the empowerment of others? Why now the acute moral panic? What, if anything, has any of this to do with processes of globalization and the forms of capitalism associated with it? or with post-coloniality? Influenced notably by the work of Gluckmann (1963), Comaroff and Comaroff (1999) are interested in analyzing the relationship between South Africa post-colonialism and occult economies. Even though the end of Apartheid held out the illusion that everyone may speculate, accumulate and consume, for many others this moment has passed without any payback. In other words: This, in turn, underlies the essential paradox of occult economies, the fact that they operate on two inimical fronts at once. The first is the constant pursuit of new, magical means for otherwise unattainable ends. The second is the effort to eradicate people held to enrich themselves by those very means; through the illegitimate appropriation, that is, not just of the bodies and things of other, but also of the forces of production and reproduction themselves (ibid: 284). Modern State Nations in Africa are trying to be reconstructed under postmodern conditions with evident contradictions. On one hand, these kinds of projects find a Black underclass of youths who embody that contradiction more notably than white residents. Under these contexts, witchcraft works as a mechanism to create consciousness and expressing discontent in certain situations. In 1995, the Commission of Inquiry into Witchcraft Violence and Ritual Murders in South Africa was disposed to respond to a mounting sense of emergency in this country (Comaroff and Comaroff, 1999). This Inquiry, formed by Government and Chaired by Professor Ralushai, confirmed the presence of two streams in postmodern times: a) civic rationalism understood as a call for liberation in means by peaceful methods such as a rational and civilized education; b) an assertive cultural relativism related to magic and esoteric issues. These dynamics coexist contradictorily in all of Africa as in other countries of the World. However, the South African case was followed by circumstances in extreme violence. From 1985 to 1995 there were more than 300 cases of witch-related killings registered, while in the first half of 1996 this figure doubled to 676. The rural population was convinced that their neighborhoods sheltered trenchant, evil operating humans with phantasmal forces of great power and destruction. Thus, for Comaroff and Comaroff (1999), organ traffic, Satanism, zombie rituals and occult economies are part of the same problem: a tension between public and private life. In general, for colonial times divination was interpreted as uncivilized practices and was repressed, hence was practiced clandestinely. However, the post-colonial era has ventilated these old customs but in a different way, also ritual murder, witchcraft, money magic and others are as common in the public sphere as television or newspapers. Thus, innovative technologies are involved in magic ritual orders and vice versa. From this point of view, the end of apartheid has allowed blacks to claim participation in political issues in South Africa. When these South Africans threw off their colonial constraints the rest of the continent learned about the postcolonial experience of unprecedented marginalization, economic difficulties, and privation of all natures. Under such hardship, there is a human tendency to create techniques with the end to distribute public wealth among pauperized classes. Democracy in that way came across with several problems and inequalities. Thus, Comaroff and Comaroff (1999) have made an important contribution to the study of post-colonialism in Africa after democracy, and have, through ethnology field work, validated the concerns expressed by Gluckmann (1963). Furthermore, world historical forces, including capitalism, colonialism, virtual society and cyberspace, take their presence into cultural atmospheres in particular times and among particular persons. These moments lead to the realization that the fragments from the anthropology of archaic capitalism and neo-liberalism may interact with each other. Hence, local is globalized whereas global is localized. Capitalism, in other words, would be very well interpreted as a colonialism method of creating different forms of identity, economic production and social orders. IN THE NAME OF CIVILIZATION One of first scholars to realize the bonds between literature and colonialism was Edward Said. Said (1996) convincingly created a bridge between western writers, their trips, representations and colonialism. These literary works privilege and reinforce the figure of Western Civilized Society before the rest of the World. The uncivilized societies are deemed ambiguously combining admiration and repulsion for Europe. The social imagery elaborated a pervasive depiction of periphery. On one hand, non-European cultures were certainly considered savage, paradisiacal, welcoming and primordial, whereas the other uncivilized, dangerous, old-fashioned and irrational: One of most favorite issues of postcolonial theory is what in a broader sense Edward Said denominated Orientalism, it means the representation of others by a Western Consciousness in means with projection of own fears, desires and frustrations towards a third-party (Gruner, 2005: 39-40). More specifically, in 1880 European nations occupied physically different remote territories. This kind of colonization lasted until roughly 1914 and represented the preliminary steps of capitalism. Some scholars surmise that this process was based on the specific prestige entailed in the discovery of new lands, while for others colonialism was created because of market expansion in conjunction with other important demographic necessities (Duroselle, 1991). Internally, nations were experiencing different material privations at the time industrialization emerged in Europe. This created a rise of mass migration, fluxes and exodus from rural zones to cities. Since peripheral countries exports replaced the European classical form of production along with agriculture and stockbreeding, many impoverished peasants populated the urban cities under circumstances of pauperism and lack of hygiene. As a result, primary destinations were saturated forcing these travelers to be embarked inbound to America, Australia or India. The paradox lies in the fact of these non industrialized countries placing their exports in European markets while receiving a dearth of migrants as work-force (Chiaramonte, 1971; Devoto, 2002; Fohlen, 1975; Gaignard, 1989), with the outcome that: The sixteenth century, European nations began to speedily expand their horizons. Trade, travel, and colonization made the world a little smaller. Explorers came into contact with more diverse people groups and began to keep travel journals documenting their perceptions of physical distinct people. Such travel journals became commonplace for the educated class, particularly the educated who themselves travelled the world (Westmoreland, 2008). In parallel with this, many anthropologists were concerned for the future of peripheral sites and the gradual disappearance of their culture because of capitalism and the advance of modernity. Whenever Europeans arrived in Africa, the natural mechanism was end the war. This of course does not mean the Africans were pacifists but they were subject to a much broader and powerful order that prevents the conflict (Mauss, 1979; Boas, 1982; Malinowski, 1986; Durkheim, 2003; Balandier, 2005; Gruner, 2005). The popular wisdom in Europe elaborated an image of Africans as peaceful, an image radically altered after the process of decolonization (Jameson, 1989; Said, 1996; Gledhill, 2000). The point was that classical British anthropologists were more concerned with studying these tribes before their disappearance than exploring the colonialism effects in these “archaic” societies. As Santana-Talavera (2006) recount, a couple of centuries back, many anthropologists left their homes looking frenetically for understanding “the others” who lived beyond proper civilization, ignoring the fact that these pristine communities deserved to be protected and conserved. This obsession has more to do with ethnocentrism and racism than scientific curiosity. As Westmoreland writes: One such traveller was the physician Francois Bernier (1620-1688), who first used the word Race in its modern context In 'A New Division of the Earth According to Different Species or Races of Men' (1684), Bernier remarks that 'Geographers up to this time have only divided the earth according to its different countries or regions.' This new division became manifest in terms of Race. While practicing medicine in India, Bernier came to the conclusion that human beings do not make up one Race, but rather a multitude of species. Despite his attempts for accuracy, Bernier failed to give a coherent definition of Race and continued to use species and race interchangeably (Westmoreland, 2008: 5). Likewise, imperialism and anthropology seek to work together by providing to governments the pertinent strategies to protect native practices. Today, natives are replaced by tourists and governments by businessmen. In post-modernism times, Tourism and nationhoods operate within present social pyramids at the same time discouraging racism, prejudice and ethnic discrimination (Santana-Talavera, 2006). Following the Santana-Talavera (2006) point of view, Caton and Almeida Santos (2008) showed modern tourist depiction regarding Third-World tourist destination follow the same prejudice as classical anthropology in XIX century. Is possible almost four hundred years of history have indeed survived? TOURIST DESTINATION DEPICTIONS Even though numerous studies have been focused on representation of destinations and hosts, less attention has been given to the manner in which tourists reinforce media depictions. Popular wisdom sees, in travel, a way to valorize certain values such as respect and cross-cultural understanding (Brunner, 1991; Caton and Almeida Santos, 2008). Similarly, Jenkins (2003) has demonstrated that tourists close the circle in producing photographs because of they are very similar in comparison with whose found previously in brochures. Caton and Almeida Santos (2008) researched existent stereotypes and experiences of students at destinations and concluded: This study asks whether Western students who visit formerly colonized areas reproduce in their own photographs the media depictions of hosts and host cultures that have drawn so much criticism in the literature, or whether their actual experiences in these destinations override the media stereotypes, leading them to create image that break hermeneutic circle (Caton and Almeida Santos, 2008:9). This study not only supposes that the communication process is produced by culture but also conceives the communication as a text capable to be read and analyzed separately. Basically, postcolonial theory is utilized to explain how Western prejudices work at the time of constructing “a cultural other” justifying certain practices originally coined in European imperialism. Photography allows studying colonialism reminiscences since: Of the 203 photos, 66 were of structures or landscapes only (hereafter, places pictures); most of the remaining images contained obvious structural or landscape features along with people (or people pictures). Of the place pictures, 77% were of ancient or historic structures, ruins, or object that were particular to a country or region … the place pictures featuring ancient or historic sites were composed in ways that suggests that they are exotic, mystical, and past their prime. Often a soft-focus filter was used to diffuse the light in the photographs, giving them a hazy appearance that suggests their mystical qualities (Caton and Almeida Santos, 2008:17). Of 115 photos featuring hosts, 60 contained host traditional and ethnical clothes. In general, several showed people pointed out as traditional and savages. It is interesting that of the 203 pictures, only 33 were intended to show interacting with hosts and 82 featured only hosts. The overwhelming number of photos o hosts (specially posed shots), coupled with the scarcity of photos of hosts and participants interacting, conveys the idea that hosts are exotic object worthy of the tourist gaze (ibid: 18). In general, these points of view were accompanied with empirical discoveries that discursive strategies of exoticization are found in tourists stereotypes. Tourist impressions are based on binaries tradition/modern, subject/object, master/servant, center/periphery and devious/lazy. The images captured referred to “the others”, hence echoed some representation close to exploitation and exploration (the hallmarks of colonialism). This means that experiences at Third-World holiday destination are embedded with colonial ideologies. The photographs considered in this study reproduced many Western media depictions of host and host cultures. Potentially, the unique power of visual imagery has certain influence on social memory. It remains to be seen whether and how tourist experiences may reconstruct colonialism discourse or how these stereotypes are transmitted in daily life. The originality of the work of Caton and Almeida Santos (2008) refers to the current pervasive attachment of ethnocentrism and tourism. The attractiveness of otherness and difference triggers the self-confidence in one’s own cultural-superiority that ultimately gives the outcome of ethnocentrism. CONCLUSION To a greater or lesser degree, colonialism played an important role in the configuration of European Nation-States but at the same time, paved the pathways for the advance of late- capitalism promoting the exchange of goods and people. This new wave would not have been successful without the intervention of a political discourse enrooted in ethnocentrism and paternalism. With the passing of time, concerns for the disappearance of aboriginal cultures converged with the theory of heritage and cultural tourism. Therefore, the hegemony seems to be based on two contrasting ideas, an exacerbated paternalism for the future (most likely enrooted in cynicism) and the trivialization of the otherness as under-developed, irrational or underpinned into a subordinated role. This paper is not only designed to target researchers interested in colonial concerns and applied tourism fields, but also invites consideration of the way visitors reconstruct the relationship with otherness, a linkage that cannot be understood beyond the scrutiny of history. Like the principle of hospitality in the conquest of America, Caton and Almeida Santos (2008) raise the empirical point that tourism may be interpreted as a mechanism to create hegemony and false consciousness. Nonetheless, the method followed by these researchers did not permit a focus on where and how these stereotypes are indeed forged. This is an issue for re-considered in a future approach. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The author likes to acknowledge the interested assistance of Dr Hazel Sommerville in editing this manuscript to improve its readability. REFERENCES Altuna, E. (2000). “Viajes Coloniales: Perú Siglo XVII”. Revista Andes: antropología e Historia. 11 (2), pp. 25-45. Arendt, H. (1951). The origin of totalitarianism. New York, Schocken. Balandier, G. (2005). Antropologia Politica. Buenos Aires, Anthropos. Boas, F. (1982). Race, language and culture. Chicago, University of Chicago Press. Brunner, E. (1991). Transformation of Self in tourism. Annals of Tourism Research. 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