ISSN: 1834-6057


  1. Cover
  2. Contents

Responses and Debates

  1. Remembering the Islands: Some responses to Shima’s special issue on Submergence 10.21463/shima.11.1.03
    Ilan Kelman
    submergence, islands, memory
    Shima’s special issue on the theme of submergence (v10 n1) approached the topic from a range of disciplinary positions using a variety of islands, covering classic myths and legends, fiction, entertainment, and music. This short response develops several themes running through the issue, focusing on memory and exploring imaginations relevant to understanding the significance of island submergence and (re)emergence.
  2. Islandness, Inundation and Resurrection: A mythology of Sea/Land relationships in Mont Saint-Michel Bay 10.21463/shima.11.1.04
    Christian Fleury and Benoît Raoulx
    Mont Saint-Michael Bay, Scissy Forest, submergence, islandness
    Mont Saint-Michel Bay is located in a coastal area with a high tidal range that has resulted in a varied and complex history of inundation and of its opposite, “de- islanding”. This article explores the mythologisation of the location and its history and identifies recent efforts to ensure that its islandness is re-established and re-affirmed as a local and national asset.
  3. Observations on the Concept of the Aquapelago Occasioned by Researching the Maldives 10.21463/shima.11.1.05
    Lindsay Bremner
    aquapelago, performativity, amphibious history, the Maldives
    In my recent work on the Maldives (Bremner, 2016), I drew on Hayward’s notion of the aquapelago (Hayward 2012a, 2012b) to theorise the Maldives and to develop a new metageographical concept for architecture in today’s globalised world. In this short contribution to Shima debates, I will highlight my observations on the Maldives and the concept of the aquapelago occasioned by this work.
  4. Why Island Feminism? 10.21463/shima.11.1.06
    Marina Karides
    Feminism, Island Studies, Intersectionality, Queer Theory
    Island Studies literature rarely has engaged with feminism or queer theory to explore how gender and sexuality, as it intersects with other social forces, contour the lives of islanders and the cultural and socio-economic conditions of islands. Concurrently, feminist and queer research on islands and of islanders analyse social inequalities, sexuality, and coloniality without deliberating islandness and Island Studies research. Island feminism is offered as a synergistic perspective to enable critical analysis of the social inequalities and sexuality regimes within and across islands and the varied gendered strategies for maintaining island livelihoods and preserving island topologies.

Sustainability and Island Tourism

  1. Tourism and Islandscapes: Cultural realignment, social-ecological resilience and change 10.21463/shima.11.1.07
    Joseph M. Cheer, Stroma Cole, Keir J. Reeves, and Kumi Kato
    Social-ecological resilience, cultural realignment, fast change, slow change
    If, as according to Robin (2015: online), “islands are idealised ecological worlds, the Edens of a fallen planet”, the rationale underpinning tourism expansion should acknowledge MacLeod’s (2013) notion of “cultural realignment” that calls for optimal and resilient encounters. This introductory article to the subsequent theme section of the journal on sustainable tourism acts as a bridge toward the development of emergent themes that describe how island peoples adapt and respond in localised cultural islandscapes as a consequence of tourism expansion. The links between cultural alignment and social-ecological resilience are clear and the principal and overarching question posed in this introductory article is: To what extent are islandscapes resilient to rapidly changing utilities, significances and ways of life wrought by tourism expansion? The vulnerability- resilience duality remains firmly entrenched in the discourse on islands where tourism has become prominent, and although tourism provides some resiliency, overall, islandscapes remain subject to externally driven fast and slow change that exercises an overwhelming influence. Islander agency will likely remain subject to the fluctuations in the demands of the tourism supply chain. Therefore, tourism as a standalone focus of islands is a high-risk proposition, especially in contexts where externally driven change is likely to intensify.
  2. Cultural Tourism in the French Pacific 10.21463/shima.11.1.08
    Anne-Marie d'Hauteserre
    Indigenous Pacific island cultures, cultural tourism, sustainable community based development, French Pacific
    History, authenticity, local culture and leisure offerings are now considered assets in local tourism development. Using a qualitative methodology, I will examine whether cultural tourism can transform the French Pacific into a sought-out tourist destination that benefits the local economy. Re-identifying the French Pacific as a cultural destination might galvanise all its stakeholders (including government agencies) to cooperate so the destination responds better to visitor expectations of the expression of indigenous culture in its localities. It would require hybrid strategies in the sense that customary practices would be commoditised. Commodification of culture raises a number of problems as it caters to fabricated needs (to fit with visitors’ habitus) in order to provide the ultimate desirable experience – given that tropical island destinations are ultimately totally substitutable for tourists from developed countries. French Pacific societies have already woven multiple global links and networks, proving their resilience; can they now offer optimal and enriching encounters for both visitors and residents?
  3. Re-Imaging Pitcairn Island: Examining dualities of conflict and collaboration between island/metropole through Tourism 10.21463/shima.11.1.09
    Maria Amoamo
    Pitcairn, colonialism, conflict, collaboration, tourism
    Islands have been described in terms of their ‘nervous duality’. This statement aptly describes Pitcairn Island, the last remaining British Overseas Territory and smallest jurisdiction in the Pacific. By its very existence as ‘colonial confetti’ Pitcairn denotes the concept of cultural realignment as it relates to relationships of power. Geographically isolated, accessible only by sea and with a population of less than fifty, Pitcairn is famous as the refuge of Bounty mutineers and Polynesians who settled the island in 1790. But Pitcairn’s more contemporary notoriety stems from ‘Operation Unique’, the United Kingdom’s investigation of sexual abuse against women and subsequent trials held on the island in 2004. The court case became a battle over the island’s way of life and a contested case of imperial domination over a tiny, vulnerable community. The trials were a critical point of (dis)juncture that threatened permanence of island place, while global media negatively branded Pitcairn as an island dystopia. The latter has prompted this article’s examination of current plans to grow tourism and attract new immigrants to Pitcairn. As a tool of analysis cultural realignment facilitates an understanding of the dynamics leading to community resilience, the restoration and re-imaging of island place/space, and the changing significances of Pitcairn’s socio- political and cultural landscape.
  4. Rural Authenticity and Agency on a Cold-Water Island: Perspectives of contemporary craft-artists on Bornholm, Denmark 10.21463/shima.11.1.10
    Solène Prince
    Craft-art, Bornholm, rural tourism, authenticity, agency, social capital, countryside
    Bornholm, Denmark is a small, cold-water island home to a cluster of craft- artists whose practices and ambitions contribute to the idyllic rural image of the island. These craft-artists formed an association in the wake of rural tourism development and its process of commercialisation to preserve values of professionalism, quality and rural authenticity in their crafts. This article discusses how the high standards of quality in their association gives them agency to define their interactions with tourists in a way to simultaneously preserve their artistic integrity and make profit from their industry. These actors thereby harness tourism to their advantage, contributing to the redefinition of their island’s rural authenticity. During two periods of fieldwork on Bornholm, 19 local craft- artists were interviewed and participant observations were carried out. This article provides insight into aspects of perceived spatial identity and agency in the context of cold-water islands with rural landscapes.
  5. Tourist Initiatives and Extreme Wilderness in the Nakanai Mountains of New Britain 10.21463/shima.11.1.11
    Jennifer Gabriel, Colin Filer, Michael Wood, and Simon Foale
    Tourism, wilderness, landscape, Nakanai Mountains, Papua New Guinea
    In 2013, the Government of Papua New Guinea identified East New Britain as the country’s tourism centre. Tourism operators in the provincial capital welcomed the government’s plan, but warned that poor infrastructure and the country’s bad image overseas could prevent it from reaping the benefits of ‘huge’ tourism potential. Landowners in the Tentative World Heritage area of the Nakanai Mountains are keen to tap into the perceived potential of tourism development and are creatively monetising their rugged environment in the hope of attracting tourists for adventure tourism. The development of adventure tourism initiatives tap into notions of wild and rugged landscapes, combined with Western fantasies involving travel to dangerous places (mountains, jungles, caves, cascading rivers). We argue that, unless local communities are able to effectively exercise power and control over tourism ventures, the desire to proclaim ecotourism as the ideal alternative form of development risks subsuming local communities and their livelihoods into a future defined primarily by outsiders.
  6. Projects and Effects: The past, present and future of the Island of Nueva Tabarca (Alicante, Spain) 10.21463/shima.11.1.12
    Rosario Navalón-Garcia
    Tourism, heritage, projects, management, sustainability
    Nueva Tabarca island is significant for the fields of Geography and Territorial Planning due to the changes that have occurred in its urban and social fabric and terrestrial and marine environment over the last three hundred years. Its most remarkable aspect has been the manner in which imposed urban projects have modified its form and function. From the construction of a planned utopian city to the tourist boom and urban speculation of the late 20th Century, the island has been a testing ground in which residents have had to adapt to the changing conditions, reflecting successive trends in the region economic development.