Project Morocco Week 3! Tourism...Perceptions of the East and how the East Seesand Portrays itself
Someone told me "If you haven't seen Marakesh, you haven't seen Morocco." Flashing lights, rolling smoke from centers of drum circles, snake charmers and constructed movie sets from films such as Gladiator and the Prince of Persia. This is Morocco? As a tourist in my third week in Morocco you are lured into the mystery and excitement that the interpreted Morocco of the West offers. My first impressions in Rabat and in the outskirts were of family, work and home. Once on the road I encountered the 'Empire of Postcards.' Exotic interpretations, street musicians, potion pushers, monkey handlers all prepped for a photo op. This stark contrast led me to think about the idea of perception, how we see things. I began to question what the perception of Morocco's culture was of those who are travelers. I also wanted to know how these "perceptions" were created. The next questions that came to mind was how does the tourist perception compare/contrast/contradict how Moroccans see themselves. Do they agree? somewhat agree? Completely disagree with tourist ideas? What does the tourist not see? What realities are not apparent?
In reference to the above images answer the following questions on the blog.
1. Define the word tourism.
2. Imagine you are in Morocco for the first time. Based on the images, what would you think about Morocco? What do you see, hear , smell, taste? How do the images make you feel? what popular media (films, tv etc.) do these images remind you of?
3. How are the above images different from last weeks images of homes, cities and daily life?
4. Look up at least three travel websites about Morocco. What kinds of images are used? What do they make you feel Morocco is like?
5. What is the purpose of travel photos, posters and brochures. How are commercial images like these different from family album images?
6. Notice the image of the tourist in the surgical mask getting her portrait taken in the shrine. Why do you think she and her group were wearing the masks. What impression do you get of her relationship with 'Morocco' from the image?
7. What do you think is the difference between travelers perspectives of Morocco and a Moroccans perspective of their own country? Why is this important to think about?