Cannibal Tours

In: Social Issues

Submitted By nife5999
Words 699
Pages 3
Cannibal Tours
In "Cannibalizing, Commodifying , or Creating Culture? Power and Art in Sepik River Tourism," Silverman makes several critiques of O'Rourke's Cannibal Tours. Silverman argues that O’Rourke constructed a limited view of the New Guinea tribes. Silverman attributes the eroding ‘authenticity’ to the tourists’ pursuit for entertainment in exchange for money. For instance, O’Rourke’s interviews mostly covered reactions from tourists and how they gawked over the natives, arrogantly depicting their primitive lives. Silverman argues that the film “portrays tourism as a process that only disempowers local people and erodes from their lives all genuine, meaningful dimensions of their culture”(Silverman 1996). Tourism is much more than O’Rourke is presenting on the surface. In fact, Silverman suggests that its advantages go far deeper than monetary value, but attribute to growing, complex hybrid cultures. In Silverman’s opinion, “ Tourism is often a context in which local people exercise subtle forms of power and resistance, and artistically express novel hybrid concept of personal, ethnic, national, and transnational modern identities” (Silverman1996). Throughout O’Rourke’s film, the tourists, either through action or inaction, seem to be going against Silverman’s idea for tourism. For example, the local people are unable to exercise subtle forms of power; but instead, they experience disempowerment from the tourists’ unfair bargaining for already cheap, primitive art that expresses their ‘personal, ethnic, national, and transnational modern identities’. Silverman suggests that the impact of tourism in this area has turned authentic customs and traditions into a westernized act in exchange for money, thus eroding the cultures authenticity.
Dennis O’Rourke’s film, Cannibal Tours, has been a topic for much controversy. In defense, I believe that…...

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