The materialization of fear: Urban tourism in the risk society

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    Perhaps more than ever before Western societies are shaped by powerful imaginaries of terror, security treats and the politics of fear. Copenhagen, while often perceived as a liberal and ‘walkable city’, is no exception. With little public involvement or democratic participation, recent political initiatives have launched a set of new counter-terrorism measures, and popular streets
    are being equipped with massive granite stones, bollards and concrete blocks (to hinder heavy and unwanted traffic in the aftermath of the recent truck attacks in Europe). Yet how do these ‘concrete interventions’ come to matter in ways not simply reducible to security optimization, risk management and symbolic politics? To reach this aim, I draw on material studies, mobilities design and non-representational theories to provide a rich socio-material tale of how granite stones, bollards and other counter-terrorist materials contribute to the construction and ‘feel’ of contemporary urban tourism. How do such prominent material designs influence, both affectively, practically and emotionally, tourists? How are they re-appropriated and imbued with (inter)subjective meanings, and how may a richer understanding of how tourists perceive this new politicization of urban space lead to more hopeful ways of staging for urban tourism, and more generally, the mobilities of the city.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date20 Aug 2017
    Number of pages5
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2017
    EventEuro-TEFI 2017: Building our stories: Co-creating tourism futures in research and practice - AAU, Copenhagen
    Duration: 20 Aug 201722 Aug 2017


    ConferenceEuro-TEFI 2017
    LocationAAU, Copenhagen
    Internet address


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