All the Pink Houses: pastel gentrification and international pastiche
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UQAM, pavillon J.-A. De Sève (DS) - DS-R520
This paper critically assesses the phenomenon of rejuvenated post-industrial and urban spaces through the theoretical lenses of gentrification and the touristic commoditisation of culture. Drawing on fieldwork undertaken in several international urban contexts, including Gamcheon Cultural Village, Busan, Rep. of Korea; la Boca, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Bo-Kaap, Cape Town, South Africa; the Battery, St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada and Victoria Street, Old Town, Edinburgh, Scotland, it looks at how an international formulaic visual style may be emerging in the presentation of architectural exteriors; the types of public art installed and the services provided, largely to tourists. Such initiatives create colourful exteriors on living spaces removed from the historical conditions of their creation which appear to support the common goals of cultural tourism that ostensibly benefits local communities. Yet locals become a backdrop to the tourist experience as strategically placed public art projects become a photo opportunity for tourists that inevitably additionally commodifies daily life within localities (Yeung Lee and Han, 2019). Building on current work which determines that tourist spaces function as ‘whateverlands’ (Carnegie and Kociatkiewicz, 2019) and as constructed experiences (Bryce, Murdy and Alexander, 2017), this phase of work takes a visual cultures and auto-ethnography approach to determine ‘values’ of sameness and difference and question whether local agendas are best served by such initiatives. References Bryce, D, Murdy, S & Alexander, M 2017, 'Diaspora, authenticity and the imagined past', Annals of Tourism Research, vol. 66, pp. 49-60. Carnegie, E. and Kociatkiewicz, J. (2019) Occupying Whateverland: journeys to museums in the Baltic, Annals of Tourism, 75, 2019, p. 238-247 Young Lee, S., & Han, Y. 2019. When art meets monsters: Mapping art activism and anti-gentrification movements in Seoul. City Culture and Society, Online First.