trapped in Paradise
June 3-4 2021
Valerio Simoni, Senior Researcher at the Global Migration Centre on the EU Funded BETLIV project will be delivering a keynote presentation Enacting the Good Life and Getting Stuck: Moral Economies and Articulations of Value in Touristic Viñales, Cuba at the International Workshop; Trapped in Paradise: Entangled Lives and Uncertain Futures in Tourist Towns, University of Bern. The response will be given by Dr. Frances Pine, Goldsmiths University of London.
This talk considers the rural Cuban town of Viñales as a complex tourism site where several moral economies and regimes of value emerge and intersect. Looking at local residents’ responses to tourism, and focusing more particularly on the experiences of returned migrants, I show how different moral economies and regimes of value are brought about, leading people to outline, for instance, good ‘Cuban’ and ‘foreign’ ways of socializing, working, and doing business and leisure. Exploring the delineation and comparison of different moral economies and value regimes leads to considering their ordering and constraining potential: the way people purposefully strive to enact and hierarchize them, and the importance of inhabiting current and future scenarios of the ‘good life’. Situations of controversy and conflict, however, also question, challenge and show the limits of such enactments and prefigurations, highlighting their ‘trapping’ effects, and bringing our attention to all that exceeds, overflows, and is not captured by them.