"Interrogating Authenticity in Bali's Tourism and Handicrafts Industries," an Asian Studies Research program with Jennifer Esperanza
From site: News & Events
Date: Friday, April 13th, 2012
Time: 4:00 pm
Location: Richardson Auditorium, Morse-Ingersoll Hall
Sponsored by: Asian Studies Research
Contact: Jingjing Lou, Jingjing Lou 608-363-2078
"Interrogating Authenticity in Bali's Tourism and Handicrafts Industries,' an Asian Studies Research program by Jennifer Esperanza, Department of Anthropology.
Bali, Indonesia has captivated the interest of visitors for well over a century. From its pristine beaches and its lush tropical landscape, to the performing and material arts that draw millions of visitors annually, Bali has long been regarded as an island on the precipice of cultural extinction and ecological demise. While these tropes were largely created and sustained under colonial or national auspices in the 20th century, new foreign investment and business opportunities reveal the complex ways that Bali “has always been global.”
This presentation will explore the idea of “authenticity,” particularly in regards to its deployment within Bali’s tourism and the export handicrafts industries. Based on my fieldwork in a central Balinese handicrafts community, as well as observations of recent foreign investment projects on the island (i.e. health spas, surfing retreats, green schools), I argue that the discursive practices around authenticity are largely rooted in the political and economic interests of external (Indonesian national and foreign) interests. I will also explore how the concept of authenticity has also been adopted and redefined by local Balinese as well—complicating orthodox notions of cultural production and ownership.
This event is free and open to the campus and community.