My research focuses on how notions of 'us' and 'them' are created by tourist practice - In 2001-3 I carried out a series of interviews with women and men in the tourist resorts of the Sinai, Egypt about their romantic and sexual relationships. This research was published as 'Sex, tourism and the postcolonial encounter: Landscapes of longing in Egypt' (Ashgate 2010). Particularly western European and north American tourism to the Middle East.
It seems very apt to use film when doing research on geographical relationships in tourism. After all the power relations in tourism to the global South are created by images - how we imagine the landscapes and people of the South to be for our pleasure. So it stands to reason that these power imbalances can also be upset and reworked through the use of images.
But how do you visually represent this research using film? Most men and women in these relationships wanted to remain anonymous and in any case filming them could easily leave them vulnerable to being stereotyped themselves and offered up to their audience as televisual voyeurism.
So instead in this test short, I separated the audio from visual. Using the audio interviews as the soundtrack for the film, the visuals could do other work. It cans who the landscapes where European women come from and the landscapes they long for. In this way we can begin to understand how women's 'sex tourism' is about so much more than sex. This is a short experimental trailer for a longer version of the film.
This film is a first step in developing longer film and a method to re-use audio material gathered during empirical research in a new format of documentary film.
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