Suri images: the return of exoticism and the commodification of an Ethiopian "tribe"

TitleSuri images: the return of exoticism and the commodification of an Ethiopian "tribe"
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsG.J. Abbink
Secondary TitleCahiers d'├ętudes africaines
Volume49
Issue196
Pagination893 - 924
Date Published2009///
Publication Languageeng
Keywordsculture contact, Ethiopia, images, Suri, tourism
Abstract

The Suri people in Southwest Ethiopia have become the continued target of affluent tourist visitors, TV documentary producers, journalists and various other travellers. In this "encounter", one theme dominates: the "discovery of a remote, pristine tribe" with a "natural, unspoilt physical beauty". The Suri are engaged by the Western visitors with a specific image of the exotic and are expected to conform to it; they are thus made into a cultural spectacle. In most of the encounters, the agency of the Suri as a people with their own problems and interests is negated and the effect of foreign presence on them is denied or ignored. A process of exoticization and accompanying commodification is at play, showing a seamless continuity with the colonial gaze. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]

Citation Key2976