The Cosmopolitan Alps: How non-western popular culture is transforming Swiss tourism destinations ?
Dans le cadre du séminaire « Penser (avec et par) le tourisme »
Thursday 23 January 2020 (15h00 - 17h00) - Géopolis - 3899
A holiday in Europe is a matter of prestige among affluent Asian middle-class families and Switzerland tops the list of the most romantic honeymoon destinations in the world. The sight of snow-capped mountains, picturesque villages and lush green meadows recall nostalgic memories of romantic Bollywood films shot in the Alps, among Asian visitors at large. Director Yash Chopra was especially influential in creating imaginaries of Switzerland as a utopian landscape of love, with productions sharing a consistent visual/sonic aesthetics and narratives of romance (Silsila, 1981; Chandni, 1989; Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge; 1995; Neal n Nikki; 2005; Bachna Ae Haseeno, 2008 and many more. This presentation will demonstrate and discuss the palpable consequences of nonwestern mediatization of European space. Having featured as a Bollywood shooting location for over three decades, a few specific locations in Switzerland (Engelberg, Jungfraujoch and Gstaad) have transformed into cosmopolitan leisure arenas, also bearing Bollywood’s unmistakeable marks. The “Indianisation of Switzerland” is perceptible in changing topographical names and Bollywood-themed experience concepts, as well as in ritualized tourism performances, trajectories and spatial orderings atypical for Swiss resorts in the past. The findings suggest that stereotyped Asian and European tourism performances are diversifying and even crossbreeding, giving rise to unique, playful and cosmopolitan destination textures, but also to place contestations and conflicts, which are not adequately addressed.
Institut de géographie et durabilité