CITAS Lecture Series | How to see it: Tourism and Space-Formation in the Arab Eastern Mediterranean in the Early Twentieth Century (Jasmin Daam)
How to see it: Tourism and Space-Formation in the Arab Eastern Mediterranean in the Early Twentieth Century
Jasmin Daam (Bonn)
It seems that in tourism, the Mediterranean has served mainly as a trope justifying claims of belonging, while tourism development policies fostered the national fragmentation of the Mediterranean shores. Building on case studies from the Arab Eastern Mediterranean, I suggest that in the early twentieth century, both imperial administrators and Arab and Yishuvi nationalists perceived tourism as a valuable resource nourishing processes of territorialisation. In particular local middle class actors fostered tourism development, which they considered vital in their aims of achieving sovereign nation-states. Only the emergence of mass tourism after World War II seems to have diminished the relevance attributed to tourism as a spatio-political resource. Thereby, the example of tourism also shows that a focus on connectivity and analyses of nation-building should not be conceived of as mutually exclusive approaches. Rather, the transnational movements seem to have been vital in the formation of nation-states – not only, but also in the Mediterranean.