Film tourism is not a new phenomenon and in recent years it has grown with the rise of both fantasy based tourism Game of Thrones (2011-19, USA), Lord of the Rings (2001-3, New Zealand/USA) and journeys of perceived self reflection and development (Eat, Pray Love (2010, USA)]. However, existing research has tended to focused on tourist behaviours and heritage conservation within specific national states. Questions related to transnational fandom and the socio-cultural implications of their tourism are highly under-explored and this workshop is about bridging the spaces between film studies, fan studies, tourism studies and other allied fields.
Asia, specifically Southeast Asia, significantly relies on tourism for a larger part of its economy. Recently, the phenomenon of “fan tourism” has become a key point of debate following the success of transnational films from diverse markets from The Beach(2000, USA) to Lost in Thailand(2012, China) to Crazy Rich Asians (2017, Singapore) as well as older features such as Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) and Man with the Golden Gun(1974) and the specific form of tourism that has resulted. Asian film trails (based on popular sites featured in films) have been established and are shared both on- and off-line for potential visitors. How do we both chart and evaluate the fan tourist narrative – one that can both challenge and uphold dominant structures. Whilst at the same time evaluate our own practices as scholars? What challenges does the experiences and actions of the fan tourist offer to both the original source text and the local structures of tourism and formal modes of engagement? What methods are appropriate to explore the affective experiences that the film fan tourist engages with. This workshop is not focusing on the financial or political usage of film sites from formal top-down structures (aka. tourism stakeholders), rather we seek to explore the aesthetic and visual experiences and affective responses that fan tourism holds.
This workshop is about developing new connections, approaches and methods. As such, we are not asking for the traditional formal conference paper approach. We invite scholars to submit a 300 word overview of their work with identification areas they would be keen to explore further with relation to this topic. We welcome visual (this can include photography, music, film, video art) practitioners and practice-led researchers who have challenged mainstream discourses of travelling in Asia. Whilst we are focused primarily on Asia, scholars whose work looks at transnational film tourism would also be considered. We are interested in hearing from scholars whose works engage with ideas of play, nostalgia, fandom, social media and film location. This one and half day workshop will focus on developing networks, methodologies and approaches to this diverse topic. By the conclusion we would explore attendees developing creative approaches to their work and its dissemination.
We are also thrilled to present a screening of Sompot Chidgasornpongse’s award-nominated documentary film Railway Sleepers(2016) as part of this workshop. Sompot Chidgasornpongse is known best his work as assistant director on Cemetery of Splendor(2015), Syndromes and a Century(2006) and Tropical Malady(2004). Railway Sleepersexplores the close connection between Thai people and the railway. The film is both a record and a celebration of contemporary Thailand.
Maximum number of attendees will be set at 15 to ensure space to focus and engage on the topic. We will pay travel and accommodation for attendees up to £150 – email organisers for details.
For those based in Asia – Please note a CFP for a Singapore based workshop will be circulated shortly.
DEADLINE: 1st May 2019.
Notification of acceptance will be the following week.
For more details please email Filmfantourism@gmail.com
Dr. Wikanda Promkhuntong, Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia (RILCA)
Mahidol University, Thailand
Prof. Kate Taylor-Jones, School of East Asian Studies, University of Sheffield, UK.
Sponsored by The British Academy and Thai Office of Higher Education Commission.