chapter  8
10 Pages

Tribal tourism – ‘Cannibal Tours’

Tribal tourism in hidden places
WithP.M. Burns and Y. Figurova

New Guinea, in Melanesian South Pacific, but also the world of the filmmaker (O’Rourke) who is at one time situated as mediator between ‘hosts’ and ‘guests’ and then in another world of the potential TV audience as he sits in the cutting room constructing the film from the film stock. The film supposedly explores the desires of the tourists to see the ‘primitives’, the exotic, the ‘other’ as Said (1978) might have called it, but of course the filmmaker constructs what we see just as a tour guide constructs our view during a trip. While the film was shot in Papua New Guinea, the multiple meanings and connotations (as well as the multiple voices), could have come from tribal peoples anywhere: Africa, Asia, South America, or as far north as the Sami peoples of Finland. The chapter concludes with some thoughts about race, social identities, stereotyping and role-play in the other worlds of hidden places.