The Tourism Enigma

“Tourism had long proven to be a Pyrrhic victory: the yearning for freedom from society has been harnessed by the very society it seeks to escape."  Hans Magnus Ensenzberger

Tourism is engrained in modern life. Comprehending or untangling the dilemmas presented by an abundance of tourists - overtourism -  and its impact on local populations, the environment and all the other consequences of tourism is not simple.  

The Mapping the Local block seminar will focus on comprehending, communicating and visualising these issues. Each working groups develop their own artistic practices that examine the tourism puzzle. Each group becomes a tourist agency or non-profit company.

At the beginning of March with the rapid appearance of the COVID-19 crisis the focus of the seminar changed dramatically. Instead of “overtourism” as the theme the issue became one of imagining what ‘tourism’ looked liked in a time of crisis; each of the seven working groups in the class were asked to NOW re-design or envision their tourist agency with special qualities relating the various travel and other restrictions.

The results of this process of re-imagining appear now as brochures or advertisements for tourist agencies during the time of the COVID 19 crisis.

The Mapping the Local seminar at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts (MKE) is organised jointly by Eszter Lazar, Allan Siegel and Szabolcs Kisspal from the Intermedia and Art Theory and Cultural Studies Departments; participating students are from MKE and the Erasmus programme of the European Union.