- Aquapelago Debates (part 4):
Skimming the Surface: Dislocated Cruise Liners and Aquatic SpacesThe Island/Sea/Territory Relationship: Towards a broader and three dimensional view of the Aquapelagic Assemblage
Keywords: Cruise ships, floating, aquatic spaces, aquapelago
Abstract: Modern, highly facilitated and luxurious cruise ships provide a highly particular type of environment and a very particular placement within oceanic and harbour spaces. In these regards they may be understood as floating entities effectively removed from their locales or, rather, as removed as they can be, barring issues of technological failure, accident and/or intrusion of extreme weather or geo-physical phenomena. Conceptualised as ‘floating pleasure palaces’, they are less like islands (with their complex gradations of connection to and social engagement with aquatic and sub- surface topographic space) and (increasingly) more like hovercraft that skim across aquatic surfaces. Indeed, in many recent examples, the access to and connection with the marine space that provides the medium for and rationale of ‘the cruise’ is marginalised. This essay begins to theorise the rationale implicit in such disconnections.
- Special Issue on The Canary Islands:
Introduction: Special Issue on the Canary Islands
- Feeding Two Million Residents and Ten Million Tourists: Food (in)sufficiency in the Canary Islands
Keywords: Islandness, food sufficiency, vulnerability, Canary Islands
Abstract: The level of food self-sufficiency in the Canaries is low and decreasing. The growing demand for food, both due to demographic and touristic expansion and to the population’s increased purchasing power, has not seen a corresponding increase in local food production. This paper details the factors behind the growing dependence on imported food, emphasising the role of insularity and the institutional framework of food production activity. Based on this diagnosis, the main courses of action are identified that could allow for the selective recovery of that portion of the local production that is intended for the internal market.
- Young African Migrants Reinventing Their Lives in the Canary Islands
Keywords: Unaccompanied minors, immigrants, young Africans, personal goals, emotional experience, integration, transition to adult life
Abstract: The intensification of irregular African immigration in the Canary Islands resulted in the arrival of thousands of unaccompanied foreign minors (MENA in Spanish: Menores Extranjeros No Acompañados), reaching a peak of maximum intensity in 2006 during the so-called ‘cayuco crisis’. This population of immigrants under the age of 18 is under the tutelage of the government of the Canary Islands and is placed in specific reception centres for foreign minors (CAME in Spanish: Centro de Acogida para Menores Extranjeros). This paper presents the methodology and main results of a research project, implemented by the author for the Observatory of Immigration in Tenerife (OBITen), on what these young Africans experienced when turned into Unaccompanied Foreign Minors by an administrative process whose aim is to protect them as vulnerable persons. The project fieldwork included in-depth interviews with immigrant minors and experts. Additionally, we carried out semi-structured interviews with professionals involved in the development and education of the unaccompanied foreign minors. We also organised focus groups with the resident Canary Islands population. The results we obtained reveal shortcomings in several areas: in the personal and emotional experience this process implies for the migrants, in the area of administration and management and, particularly, in the transition from the condition of unaccompanied foreign minor to that of adult immigrant.
- Connecting the Disconnected: The Migratory Transnationalism of Moroccans in the Canary Islands
Keywords: Transnationalism, international migration, islandness, Canary Islands
Abstract: The Canary Islands, a region of Spain and the European Union, are just over 100 kilometres away from the coast of western Africa off Morocco’s southern border. Moroccan immigration to the Canaries grew during the last boom in Spain’s economy (1994-2007), which saw an influx of people from the regions surrounding Morocco who responded to the needs of the local labour market that caters to the tourism industry. This paper presents evidence of an emerging transnational social field that unites the Canaries to these regions through the transnational activities of migrant families. It also considers the unique features that insularity introduces into the analysis of migratory transnationality. The case of the Canaries shows that the territorial dimension and the proximity of borders exert selective effects on migratory flows and on the stratification of the transnational social field.
- Cultural Realignment, Islands and the Influence of Tourism: A new conceptual approach
Keywords: Cultural realignment, identity, islands, tourism, anthropology, Canary Islands, La Gomera
Abstract: This article introduces a new concept: ‘cultural realignment’, which embraces phenomena such as cultural representation, interpretation, stereotyping and branding. Cultural realignment is the intentional depiction or interpretation of a culture (or part of one) for a specific preconceived purpose. It relates directly to power, and there is a need for this broad concept to help comprehend processes in an era of increasing globalisation, the growth of cultural commodification and the proliferation of representations in media including the internet. A prime concern of the article is the way that cultural realignment impacts on the identities of the communities subject to the realignment. The main examples given relate to island communities and their representation by anthropologists, and to island tourist destinations that have been subject to various descriptions, physical transformations and commodification driven by the tourism industry. A case study is examined as an example in the Canary Islands, using original research material related to recent and longitudinal fieldwork.
- Emergence and the Insula Improvisa: St. Brendan’s Island and Afro/Canarian (Jazz) Fusion Music
Keywords: Canary Islands, improvisation, cartography, jazz music, fusion, St. Brendan’s Island
Abstract: This article addresses the historical creation of the Canary Islands as spaces of isolation and spaces that isolate, and suggests how these spaces are re-appropriated and re/worked as critiques of that isolation. Beginning with the mythical St. Brendan's Island, I will outline some episodes through which we can critique the actively produced elisions that confine the Canary Islands and their inhabitants to the periphery, perhaps glimpsing opportunities for emergence from within these boundaries. By outlining some historical gaps in Afro/Canarian historiography and geographic gaps in Afro/Canarian cartography, I will demonstrate how the politics of the cite can gloss over the actualities of the site. Amid these gaps and fissures lie spaces in which inhabitants of the Canary Islands can re/form local and global ideas about the Islands and local cultures. Based on ongoing ethnographic research begun in 2009, this article explores how Afro/Canarian jazz musicians draw on local histories and historiographies of fusion to resist and rewrite their peripheral status, reasserting and re/placing themselves on the map through critical re-appropriation of cartographic, historiographical, and sonic technologies.
- About The Authors