This playlist focuses on travel across the Mexico-US border and further south into Central America by British and Irish celebrities, comedians, and journalists. The programmes show the common tropes underlying travel narratives to Latin America since colonial times: from the exotic and strange to the dangerous and hostile. Individually the programmes frame the journey as necessary to inform and educate. However, the ways these crossings set up Mexico and Central America as ‘the other’ and the presenter as a brave adventurer engaging in dark tourism, merely reproduce inequality and a Eurocentric worldview. The conceptual framing of travel as seen here is to be found reproduced across social media travelogues too. The clips in this playlist would be useful to help start critical discussions about travel and travellers.
For further reading see: Mary Louise Pratt’s Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation; Edward Saïd’s Orientalism; Brigitte Sion’s Death Tourism: Disaster Sites as Recreational Landscape and Niamh Thornton’s Dara and Ed’s (Not So) Great Big Adventure.
Professor Niamh Thornton, University of Liverpool
- Latin American studies
- Television studies
Travelogues, Mexico, Central America, Borders, Colonialism, Dark Travel, Anti-racism