Alana Osbourne

Statut : Collaboratrice scientifique

Email : A.D.Osbourne@uva.nl

Domaines de recherche :

Etudes urbaines - Anthropologie politique - Etude des Caraïbes - Anthropologie de la violence - Héritage culturel - Film et film ethnographique

Projet de recherche :

2014-2017 - PhD in Anthropology and Human Geography at the Centre for Urban Studies, Department of Human Geography, Planning and International Development University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Titre provisoire de la thèse : “Touring Trench Town : Commodifying Urban Poverty and Violence in Kingston, Jamaica”.

Ce projet fait partie de la recherche NWO/DFG/ESRC ORA Plus intitulée “Inequality tourism in the Americas : Commodifying Urban Poverty and Violence”www.inequalitytours.org

Summary :

My research project focuses on the encounter between tourists and residents of an infamous neighbourhood in Kingston. Trench Town is often referred to as a neglected area of violence and strife. However, it is also a celebrated place, once home to inspirational icons such as Bob Marley, and now an urban tourism destination. While tourism activities congeal around Bob Marley’s former home, renewed as the ‘Culture Yard’ and run by a grassroots community organization, numerous other projects are envisaged to tap into the area’s rich cultural heritage, involving stakeholders from both within and outside the community. In their efforts to bring tourism to Trench Town, stakeholders constantly negotiate the area’s margins, stretching them to encompass adjoining and antagonistic sub-communities. In so doing, they discard the area’s divides, entrenched in political violence. I look at the neighbourhood’s shifting boundaries – how Trench Town’s discursive and geographical topography change, at times including or discarding opposing political enclaves that share longstanding histories of war. Drawing on a year-long period of fieldwork carried out in Kingston, I discuss how community organisations continue to design possible Trench Town based tourism activities, whilst outsiders continue to dream up and consume narratives of the inner-city ‘ghetto’. I analyse how the different aspirations to create a tourism economy in Trench Town are tied to - and interact with – poverty, mobility, time, and violence, and how these elements are entangled in imaginations and practices of place. This analysis leads me to an understanding of how Trench Town residents engage with tourism, ultimately assessing how urban landscapes are reshaped and shifted through the commodification of violent spaces.

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