Read the first chapter of The Tourist Gaze . Core resources :Urry_TouristGaze.pdf
Write a 200-word reflective commentary about its relevance to documentary photography.
The growth of travel and tourism has led to easy access to previously inaccessible places . Holidaying is a leisure pursuit , not an everyday experience . The tourist gaze is defined as the expectations of tourists , who having been sold the ‘dream holiday’ , expect indigenous people to behave in a preconceived manner and are seeking exciting and culturally different experiences. The tourist gaze evolves , it changes over time and differs between social groups. It is also dependant on the experiences of the observer and how far it differs from their normality. What might be defined as normal in one society may well be considered perverse in another.
Whilst benefitting financially local communities are faced with the prospect of appeasing tourism , their cultural way of life reduced to a stereotypical ideal expected of them. I am sure I am not alone in having been to a ‘staged’ performance of some sort whilst on a foreign holiday , camera at the ready to record the event. What can be seen and experienced as a tourist is frequently restricted and controlled by holiday companies , local regulations , and even by the situation of the hotel. The tourist accepts these limitations and needing proof of having been there takes the expected holiday photographs , but what do they actually tell us about the reality of the place visited ?