GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Inside the Middle East! Clearing the ‘haze’ from the ‘Tourist gaze’ through Music & Film
Paper Proposal Text :
In its attempt to clear the haze from the tourist gaze, this paper provides a conceptual insight into the potential of Music and Film Tourism in the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) region. Drawing upon the seminal paper, the “Tourist gaze” of John Urry (1990, 1992, 2002) and subsequent adaptations found in the extant literature, an attempt is made to highlight the opportunities and challenges of marketing places through music and film (see Madichie, 2010; 2011; Riley and Van Doren, 1992; Riley et al, 1998; Iwashita, 2006, Leaver and Smith, 2009).
While films and/ or movies, on the one hand, have evolved over the years and more recently popularized in the multi-billion dollar industry (Madichie, 2010); music on the other hand, has achieved similar highs (see Madichie, 2011). Both music and film have been celebrated in numerous festivals– from the World of Music, Arts and Dance (WOMAD), to the Festival Panafricain du Cinéma de Ouagadougou (FESPACO), Cannes and now Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) currently in its eighth year of existence, such tourism have neither been fully exploited nor leveraged in any tangible way – hence prompting the need for a major rethink of the impact of these industries for the GCC.
The question thus arises – is music the answer? Could film/ cinema shine the “Lights, Cameras, Action” on the tourist gaze? What needs to be done to clear the “haze in the tourist gaze?” Hopefully, this paper, in presenting what can be considered a tourist narrative (Rickly-Boyd, 2010) should spur GCC governments and other stakeholders (including non-governmental organizations, NGOs), into action and thereby reverse their handicap at leveraging opportunities presented by music and film, and consequently clear the “haze from the Tourist gaze” in the region.

Keywords: music & film tourism, tourist gaze, DIFF, GCC, WOMAD, UAE.