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Escribano

Posts: 5889
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England

Flamenco: no es un show! 

Recent graffiti in Granada. I have some sympathy when you see the crowds dawdling around the Albaicín, but they do need the injection of cash. As for the tablaos, serious flamenco musicians also earn their money there.

A lot of sights in Europe are now being ruined by the tourist hoardes. Rome and Amalfi are intolerable, as is Paris. Especially massed groups of Chinese and Americans.



https://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-7090135/Tourists-home-Graffiti-appears-Granada-telling-visitors-theyre-not-wanted.html#comments

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 31 2019 10:52:30
 
RobF

Posts: 254
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Flamenco: no es un show! (in reply to Escribano

The graffiti shown in the article all appears to have been sprayed by the same hand, so we can safely conclude that at least one person isn’t happy with the tourist situation there, lol. While I don’t doubt there are others, I would be curious to know if the sloganeer is actually native to the Albaicín area or even to Granada, for that matter. If they are from the Albaicín, the neighbours whose walls they are defacing might have something to say about their antics.

There seems to be a trend in recent years to yearn for the return to a “simpler time” while, in actuality, no such simpler times ever existed to return to. The best of times in one person’s narrative are inevitably shared with the worst of times in another’s.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 31 2019 14:16:28
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 2829
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Flamenco: no es un show! (in reply to Escribano

Regarding intolerable tourists, I offer the following anecdote. My consultancy with the US State Department took me to the Pacific island nation of the Republic of Palau for several gigs as temporary Charge'd'Affaires, assignments that ranged from three to four months each. While there I became friends with many on the island, including the owner and operator of the largest, most well-known dive and water tourism enterprise. We were having a couple of beers one afternoon and were talking about the various nationalities that booked dive trips to Palau with his company. There were groups from all over: Japan, Italy, Germany, Britain, the United States, Russia, China, and many others.

We began discussing how back in the 1950s and '60s American tourists were known for their loud, uncouth behavior overseas. I asked him who the obnoxious, loud, uncouth tourists were today. Without a pause he said the Russians and Chinese. Neither nationality in groups had any sense of propriety in the setting of Palau. Neither had the slightest respect for the island's culture and tradition. He said they acted that way on land, and they were just as obnoxious in dealing with his boat crews when on a dive or a trip to the island of Peleliu. Demanding and uncouth behavior. Like most nouveau riche.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 31 2019 18:03:12
 
El Burdo

 

Posts: 454
Joined: Sep. 8 2011
 

RE: Flamenco: no es un show! (in reply to Escribano

We had a brief, I guess, 'trip' to enjoy Lisbon and Porto at the end of last summer. Both were intolerable with no discernible national identity (beyond the architecture) anymore with all the thronging tourists. But at least there are lots of fridge magnet shops, which probably helps.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 31 2019 19:07:25
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2604
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Flamenco: no es un show! (in reply to Escribano

There are more than twice as many people on the planet now than there were in the "good old days" when I was in my late twenties.

The first time I was at the huge Mayan city of Chichen Itza in 1961, my two friends and I were the only ones there all afternoon. By 2003 you coulden't take a decent photo. The monuments were covered with people crawling over them like ants. Eventually climbing was outlawed.

The first time I visited the Alhambra in the late 1950s it was peaceful and quiet. There was no waiting to enter, you could stroll about as you liked. Now you must show up at the time stated on your ticket--if you can get a ticket--to be processed through the site like stuffing a sausage, packed together with a horde of others.

The first time I went to Bali in 1994 there were few tourists. I was addressed as "Tuan," a term of respect. These days I avoid Kuta altogether, since you are now accosted on the crowded sidewalk by someone grasping your elbow and shouting, "Hey, Boss." Ubud was still almost tolerable a few years ago, except for the permanent traffic jams on the streets.

When we went in 2005 to the floating market at Damnoen Sudak south of Bangkok, it was a pleasant experience, with smiling vendors poling their boats along the canals, laden with fruits, snacks, flowers or souvenirs. I went back 6 or 7 years later, the last time I was in Bangkok. Never again. The canals were choked by boats with dazed tourists packed like sardines, the boats gunwale to gunwale. You couldn't have inserted one more. The huge ear shattering engines bellowed and belched black smoke. There was no room for vendors in the canals, and the shops on the banks could not be reached due to the mass of tourist boats.

When I first visited Angkor, the ancient Khmer capital in Cambodia, in the late 1990s, there were only two large hotels in Siem Reap: the stylish old Grand Hotel d'Angkor from the 1920s and the modern Sofitel around the corner on the road to the ruins. Now there are at least a dozen high rise tourist traps along the road to the airport. The roads are packed with giant tourist busses zooming about.

At a temple near the edge of the Angkor complex, I waited my turn to stand in a doorway where people were posing for photos. I wanted to photograph the buildings on the other side. I stood there for only a few seconds. As I brought the camera to my eye I became aware of a woman screaming. Thinking something had gone terribly wrong, I looked around. A member of a large group of tourists was screaming at me, "You move, I stand there!!"

I approached her calmly, and asked quietly, "Do you speak English?"

"Yes. You move! I stand there!"

"Would you do me a favor?"

"What you want?"

"Shut the f**k up, right now." I turned back and took my photo.

As we walked away my guide said, "We don't like them either."

We are planning to go to the Corrida Goyesca in Ronda at the end of August. Last year the streets were packed with people, but Ronda is too small to accommodate a really huge crowd. There was no trouble finding a place to eat or to get a beer. The plaza de toros is small enough to make tickets scarce, but it was clear that there were a lot of people on the streets who didn't attend the corridas last year. The Hotel Reina Victoria is a few blocks from the center of town, and its grounds are big enough to keep the crowds at a little distance.

I read recently that there have been groups of local residents actively protesting the tourist hordes at Barcelona, holding up signs saying, "This is not a beach resort!" We are debating whether to go to Barcelona after Ronda, or to skip it.

We plan to visit friends in a town north of Venice, but to avoid Venice itself in early September. If it's still hot we can head to the mountains with our friends. The hotels there are mainly for the ski season, so in the summer it's cool and fairly quiet. You can ride a cable car up the mountain and have lunch with a stunning view of the Dolomites.

I'm not sure whether the people themselves in the masses we sometimes run into are ruder than in the past, or whether people are just more rude when crowded.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 31 2019 19:08:43
 
El Burdo

 

Posts: 454
Joined: Sep. 8 2011
 

RE: Flamenco: no es un show! (in reply to Escribano

My wife has the Chinese as being quite dominant, which she puts down to their being in crowds ALL the time in the cities where you have to be assertive unless you want to spend your life in a queue being polite.
New countries are also now able to enjoy what the rest of the world has taken for granted for years. This is a bit like the West using up the world by burning fossil fuels only to object when the rest want some of the same advantages. I noticed this on our last night in Porto. (It seems to be written in English).



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 31 2019 20:05:07
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 2829
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Flamenco: no es un show! (in reply to Escribano

Of course, the irony in our relating anecdotes and grousing about the hordes of tourists we have encountered in our travels is that we ourselves were a part of the horde, even as an observer. And we are not let off the hook by visiting lesser-visited places; in doing so we are simply contributing to laying the path for future hordes who will follow. One thing we can expect, though, is a little thoughtful consideration from members of the horde, and that seems to be in short supply in many cases.

One thing I find especially irritating is the tourist who, because he stays in pensions or guest houses and thinks he moves among "the people," smugly proclaims that he is not a tourist but is a "traveler." I think it stems, in part, from a superficial knowledge of some 19th century individuals--Sir Richard Burton, the writers Somerset Maugham and Joseph Conrad, among others--who really were "travelers" in the truest sense of the term. Today, forget it. We are all tourists. Getting off the beaten track does not change that designation.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 31 2019 21:47:20
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2604
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Flamenco: no es un show! (in reply to BarkellWH

When I went to Mexico by myself for the summer at age 17 I certainly didn't think of myself as a traveler of the class of Burton, Maugham et al. I was just a restless kid wanting to get away from home, wanting to visit some place foreign where it was cheap and where I spoke the language. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a good choice. Mexico in 1955 was one of the most foreign places I have visited, relative to the USA. Now it is much more prosperous and "Americanized," but I still love it, and enjoy chatting with strangers.

In 1955 the only way to get to the tiny fishing village of Playa del Carmen on the Caribbean coast was by boat. Now there is a multi-lane highway from the big airport at Cancun, and the town accurately reproduces the air conditioned nightmare of coastal Los Angeles or Waikiki.

Spain in 1957, still under the thumb of Franco, was also a good deal more exotic than it is now. The "Great Wall of Andalucia" had not been built along the Costa del Sol, nor were there tanned and glowing Swedish blondes in bikinis on the beaches. Almost every house in the Ciudad in Ronda had a coat of arms above the doorway. Antonio Ordoñez and Luis Miguel Dominguín were still passing the bulls, and could be appreciated even from the cheap seats. The encyclopedic cantaor Rafael Romero¨El Gallina¨and the tocaor Perico el del Lunar were performing at Zambra in Madrid. I was the only foreigner at the pension where I stayed in the capital.

The first morning in Spain in 1957 I went to the nearest bar to the pension in Malaga for breakfast. I asked for orange juice to go with my cafe con leche and bolillos, thinking of the fresh squeezed nectar served in Mexico. The bartender gave me a brief skeptical glance, then rummaged in the mini fridge for a tiny bottle containing a few ounces of battery acid. The carpenters and bricklayers nearby ridiculed me, then bought me a glass of cheap brandy, which they were all having to start the day, and welcomed me to Spain.

Still I never saw myself as a "traveler." I didn't stay in one place long enough to form any more than casual connections. Nor was I a tourist. I couldn't afford to be.

Now we stay at the Palace in Madrid, eat roast suckling pig at Botín or mariscos at Los Galayos in the Plaza Mayor, stay at the Hotel Alhambra Palace in Granada or the Alfonso XIII in Sevilla, stand in line to go into the Alcazar or the Cathedral, and feel like tourists.

That is, except at the little Cafe Libertad with outdoor tables in the tiny square tucked away next to the Alcazar in Sevilla. Inside there are photos on the walls of famous toreros of days gone by. Few if any other foreign tourists wandered in. There were occasional Spanish families from out of town, but the clientele seemed to be mainly locals. After eating there a few times we received the friendly and considerate treatment of regular customers.

From Sevilla we drove to Granada. Though far from the center, the Alhambra Palace is a convenient place to stay, since there are always two or three taxis waiting across the street. They are cheap, honest and efficient. The dining room turned out to be surptisingly good, and the view over the city from the bar's balcony is magnificent at night.

After a couple of hours on the internet, we scored tickets to the Alhambra, to the amazement of the young women at the front desk. That evening we had a decent dinner with one of the very best views in the whole world, the Alhambra from the Albaicin at dusk and nightfall, with the snow capped Sierra Nevada for backdrop.

A few days later we drove down to the coast, had a coffee at the Balcon de Europa and lunch at Marbella. We had a swim at the beach before we headed into the mountains toward Ronda. In both places I felt like we were no longer in Spain, rather in some homogenized Euro-American tourist destination like Santa Barbara or Biarritz.

At Ronda last year we met no one but Spaniards, nor saw any foreigners sitting within sight of us at the corrida. The crowd in the streets seemed all to be Spanish, though many were from out of town. We're going back.

I really look forward to Italy where we will visit friends, and feel like guests, not tourists.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 31 2019 23:56:31
 
RobF

Posts: 254
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Flamenco: no es un show! (in reply to Escribano

I’ve never really thought much about this until recently but I guess that while I’m en route to a destination I see myself as a traveller. When I get there, if I’m hanging out with friends who live there I tend to think of myself as a visitor. In pretty well all other situations I unapologetically consider myself to be a tourist or, often more accurately, lost.

On another note, I suspect Granada’s Albaicín sloganeer wouldn’t recognize a Soleá or a Seguiriyas if he tripped over one. I really doubt he’s from there, he’s just an agitator. Probably from Barcelona. Probably likes Rosalina and drinks Estrella. If he wears a scarf, he stole it. His shoes are made out of wood and he’s missing three of his hair extensions.

And speaking of irony, that #visitporto poster is dripping with it, IMO.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2019 1:08:23
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2604
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Flamenco: no es un show! (in reply to BarkellWH

quote:

ORIGINAL: BarkellWH

We began discussing how back in the 1950s and '60s American tourists were known for their loud, uncouth behavior overseas. I asked him who the obnoxious, loud, uncouth tourists were today. Without a pause he said the Russians and Chinese. Neither nationality in groups had any sense of propriety in the setting of Palau. Neither had the slightest respect for the island's culture and tradition. He said they acted that way on land, and they were just as obnoxious in dealing with his boat crews when on a dive or a trip to the island of Peleliu. Demanding and uncouth behavior. Like most nouveau riche.

Bill


A few years back I was in Bali, traveling with my good friend Paul, the tourist guide and translator. Paul is a genius at languages. He told me he was learning Russian, since quite a few Russians were coming to Bali.

"What sort of people are they?" I asked.

"The kind of people who bring suitcases full of U.S. one-hundred dollar bills," he replied.

"Do they bring their wives?" I asked.

"No. They come to abuse Indonesian women."



Years ago their was a flight connection from Honolulu to Denpasar, Bali via Taipei. Heading to Bali you spent the night in a squalid hotel for transit passengers, without clearing customs. The upholstered furniture was all covered in clear plastic. In the winter it was freezing cold. There weren't enough blankets. There was no restaurant, no snacks to buy, and no way to heat up anything you brought with you.

On the way back you connected with a short layover at Chiang Kai-Shek International Airport. Now they just call it CKS, since Generalissimo Chiang's memory is not as universally popular as it once was.

We were met at the gate by a young woman in a smart uniform, who said she would take us to our connecting gate. As a half dozen of us walked along, she repeatedly and rudely told us to walk faster.

Finally I said to her, "You may stop cracking your whip about our ankles. We have more than an hour and a half before boarding. If you cannot afford the time to be civil, we can find our own way."

She replied, "Hurry! Must walk faster now."

At the connecting gate when boarding was announced there was the usual free-for-all scrum with shoving and pushing. Those near me soon learned that I was bigger, stronger and could be just as rude as the average Taiwanese when provoked.

As soon as a different connection was put in service, I never returned to Taiwan. The entire country failed to conform to my Texan conception of personal space, though they seem able to cooperate, prosper and resist the People's Republic.

Having severely slagged the Chinese, I should add this. My father was friends with Claire Chennault, the leader of the Flying Tigers, an irregular American air force who fought against the Japanese in China before the U.S. entered WW II.

Claire's younger brother Joe was Special Agent in Charge of the Washington office of the FBI when we lived in Washington DC, while I was in high school. Joe and his wife came to dinner at our quarters on Bolling Air Force Base from time to time, so we kept in touch with the family.

Mrs. Claire Chennault (nee Chan Sheng Mai in Peking, China) was one of the most refined, cultured and civilized women I have ever met. The last time I saw her was sometime in the early 1970s, standing in line behind her to check in at the Airport Marriott in Los Angeles. Gen. Chennault had passed away some years before. Mrs. Chennault was working as some sort of consultant in the defense industry, advising clients on how to do business in East Asia. She was a power in U.S. politics and had been president of the airline begun by veterans of the Flying Tigers

She glanced behind her, recognized me, whom she had not seen for at least fifteen years, said hello and asked about my parents and brother. We had a drink at the bar on the top floor of the hotel, and filled in one another about the last few years. She was gracious, charming, and insisted on putting the drinks on her expense account.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2019 2:44:24
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 2829
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Flamenco: no es un show! (in reply to RobF

Richard, with all due respect, I fail to see where bringing up Chan Sheng Mai (AKA Anna Chennault) is relevant to this discussion. That she was a refined member of the Chinese upper class is well known. In her heyday, average Chinese did not travel, and her life is hardly a rebuttal to my good friend, the dive/tour owner in Palau, stating that today Russians and Chinese have become the obnoxious, loud, uncouth tourists. Demanding and uncouth, as most nouveau riche are.

I, too, visited Mexico and Spain in the 1950s and '60s. Both were very different than they are today. My family has deep roots in Mexico. My grandfather worked in management on the Southern Pacific railroad in northern Mexico. My mother spent the first 16 years of her life in Mexico. They all moved to the States in the 1930s when the Mexican government nationalized the railroads and the oil companies. In spite of that background, when I visited Mexico as a young man I never thought of myself as either a traveler or a tourist. Nevertheless, looking back on it, I was no less a tourist than any other visitor.

Same with Spain. In 1965 I spent two weeks in Spain, having taken a leave from my US Air Force assignment in Germany. I spent a week in Pamplona attending the Fiesta de San Fermin in July. I went with a head filled with Hemingway, particularly "The Sun Also Rises." It was great fun, and I even met some young Spaniards who invited me to a party one evening. Nevertheless, as much as I wanted to think of myself being in Papa Hemingway's shoes, I recognized that I was as much a tourist as any others attending the Fiesta.

Again, the idea that today (emphasis on "today," although I would include the last 50 years) we are all tourists is self-evident to me. We depend on international airlines to get us to our destination, we rent cars from Avis, Enterprise, and a dozen other car rental agencies, we often depend on travel agencies to set things up for us. We may be "guests" when actually visiting and staying with friends overseas, but other than that, although we may try to avoid the term, we are "tourists." That does not mean we cannot enjoy our trips; rather, in my opinion we should avoid flattering ourselves with the conceit that we are "travelers," with everything that term implies.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2019 13:15:16
 
Escribano

Posts: 5889
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England

RE: Flamenco: no es un show! (in reply to BarkellWH

I first went to Spain in 1968 and there were plenty of German and Scandinavian holiday makers there but nothing like the rude crowds of today. Maybe it is because flights are so much cheaper and there are many more of us around, or maybe we are just ruder. Or maybe both?

I don't recall such tourists around the Trevi or Colosseum in the 90s. You could walk through the Forum at night (without paying) and visit the Trevi at midnight without elbowing each other. You could stroll around the Duomo in Milan whilst enjoying a leisurely gelato.

You could visit Amalfi and sit outside a cafe without getting your feet stamped on when the boats came in. I was a tourist, but not one in a massive crowd. Else I was living in Granada, London or Amsterdam. All suffer.

Have a look at a video I took there last year:

https://www.facebook.com/simon.shearston/videos/10214924273927668/

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2019 13:37:31
 
El Burdo

 

Posts: 454
Joined: Sep. 8 2011
 

RE: Flamenco: no es un show! (in reply to BarkellWH

quote:

One thing I find especially irritating is the tourist who, because he stays in pensions or guest houses and thinks he moves among "the people," smugly proclaims that he is not a tourist but is a "traveler."


Really? This sounds like a synthetic annoyance to me - something you would find annoying if it were to happen. In other words, it's probably about you, not them.

I'm not sure I agree anyway - I think it's how you travel. A tourist has a timetable and a schedule which includes destination 'high spots'. You can maybe think of yourself as a traveller if your journey is open ended and you have freedom to go where it is possible to go. When I was young I wouldn't have used the term to describe myself (bearing in mind the Richard Burton comparison) but I might have referred to my extended gallivanting as 'travelling'. Now I am a tourist in all but Kiss Me Kwik hat. The fact that others involved in more blatant 'tourism' are chaperoned is simply a function of the possibilities for travel that exist for them and their fear of alien culture and values. I understand that very well - I didn't eat several times in Italy (on a budget) because I didn't know how to pay for my food first then choose and eat. Or was it, choose, pay, eat?


quote:

And speaking of irony, that #visitporto poster is dripping with it, IMO.


Not sure what you mean there RobF. Visitporto does seem to be a proper tourism site - I hadn't looked after I absorbed the sentiment. Seems odd though, maybe that's it? Having said that Über and AirB&B both ways of celebrating 'individual choice' are inherently destructive and a far cry from Black/yellow cabs and the small scale competition and culture of the B&B.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2019 15:02:02
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 2829
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Flamenco: no es un show! (in reply to El Burdo

quote:

quote:

One thing I find especially irritating is the tourist who, because he stays in pensions or guest houses and thinks he moves among "the people," smugly proclaims that he is not a tourist but is a "traveler."


Really? This sounds like a synthetic annoyance to me - something you would find annoying if it were to happen. In other words, it's probably about you, not them.


Nothing synthetic about it. It has happened on several occasions. One example to illustrate the point. I have had a friend since university days who was always (then and now) a sort of "non-conformist." But hers was a "studied" non-conformity, if you know what I mean. She received her BA in Anthropology but never worked in the field and only spoke barely passable Spanish. She has visited Mexico and other destinations occasionally and considers herself to be a "traveler," moving among "the people." Yet she does not know a lot about her destinations visited other than a superficial knowledge cadged from guide books, perhaps a history, and the like.

A few years ago she was visiting a port in Mexico and sent me an E-mail message stating that she had been having a drink while watching "tourists" disembarking from a cruise ship. She stated smugly that she was "tired" of watching "tourists" in Mexico and other countries. I replied, rather caustically, that not knowing any of the passengers disembarking, perhaps she should rethink her impression of said passengers. Perhaps (and I told her that this may come as a surprise to her) among the passengers were two or three professors or otherwise experts on Latin America who just wanted to enjoy a cruise. I suggested that her "traveler's" attitude of superiority over mere "tourists" might get her in trouble were she to meet one of the passengers who actually knew something about Mexico.

My response did not go over well, but then I did not think it my duty to reinforce her faux position of superiority over those she considered her inferiors.

Anyway, you are correct to suggest that my irritation at such an attitude says something about me. But I see nothing to apologize for.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2019 15:50:12
 
ViejoAmargo

Posts: 29
Joined: Jun. 29 2016
 

RE: Flamenco: no es un show! (in reply to RobF

quote:

ORIGINAL: RobF

The graffiti shown in the article all appears to have been sprayed by the same hand, so we can safely conclude that at least one person isn’t happy with the tourist situation there, lol. While I don’t doubt there are others, I would be curious to know if the sloganeer is actually native to the Albaicín area or even to Granada, for that matter. If they are from the Albaicín, the neighbours whose walls they are defacing might have something to say about their antics.

There seems to be a trend in recent years to yearn for the return to a “simpler time” while, in actuality, no such simpler times ever existed to return to. The best of times in one person’s narrative are inevitably shared with the worst of times in another’s.


Rob, I don't think it's a matter of "yearning for the return to a simpler time”, but rather trying to point out that flamenco is not just some "fun entertainment for tourists". As we know (or should know), flamenco is an art form with a lot of depth, which many aficionados revere with quasi-religious devotion. Performing flamenco just to have a shallow, touristy "fun time" really misses the essence of flamenco. I don't object to tourists watching flamenco shows in a tablao, as long as both the performers and the tourists respect the cultural depth and emotional intensity of flamenco. I would think that's the spirit of the "Flamenco no es un show!" graffitti.

Incidentally, I find curious how this thread became about tourists' anecdotes, with the original "Flamenco: no es un show!" topic swiftly forgotten after the first few posts....
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2019 16:07:30

Piwin

Posts: 2189
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: Flamenco: no es un show! (in reply to Escribano

Even the summit of Mt Everest is overcrowded these days...

I remember seeing similar messages in the Albaicin (not graffiti, but signs hanging from windows) some years ago when the municipality brought additional restrictions to the traffic rules there (including making some streets pedestrian which previously hadn't been IIRC). The feeling was that the municipality wanted to make the place more tourist-friendly but didn't particularly care if it made life more difficult for the locals. I distinctly remember the "Granada is not a postcard" one, but I don't recall anything quite as direct as "@tourist: go away!". Note that all the messages use "tourist" singular. It might be a personal vendetta against one single person. Bob Johnson, making friends everywhere!

Then there's the one that says "tourists won't buy up Granada", which I think shows that this isn't only about tourism but also about gentrification, which is happening in part because of the arrival of new landowners from abroad.

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Chicken crossing
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2019 16:29:35
 
Escribano

Posts: 5889
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England

RE: Flamenco: no es un show! (in reply to ViejoAmargo

quote:

I find curious how this thread became about tourists' anecdotes, with the original "Flamenco: no es un show!" topic swiftly forgotten after the first few posts....


My point was that someone thought that "mass" tourism is diluting culture. I tend to agree. One could argue that it is really hard to access flamenco as a tourist, anyway. I was not a tourist in Granada, but I might as well have been, for the most part but I was certainly buying a house which may be worse

Still, one cannot access any local culture through the massed crowd of random people more intent on their Instagram and it is certainly getting worse. Try Venice. It would be your last visit.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2019 18:54:52
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 2829
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Flamenco: no es un show! (in reply to Escribano

quote:

Maybe it is because flights are so much cheaper and there are many more of us around, or maybe we are just ruder. Or maybe both?


I think you nailed it, Simon. In earlier days we didn't have the mass tourism we have today, but even then it was "tourism" nonetheless. With mass tourism, however, there are many more who have little respect or interest in the culture and tradition of the places visited. We still have tourists who have respect and interest in culture and tradition, but they appear to be a diminishing proportion of overall tourism today. And in this age of "selfies," many consider their trip fulfilled if they can just take a "selfie" with a historical monument in the background to Instagram back to all their "friends and followers." And although I just brought it up, don't get me started on "social media." Ugh!

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2019 19:10:59
 
RobF

Posts: 254
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RE: Flamenco: no es un show! (in reply to El Burdo

quote:

Not sure what you mean there RobF. Visitporto does seem to be a proper tourism site - I hadn't looked after I absorbed the sentiment. Seems odd though, maybe that's it?


The reason I find the #visitporto poster ironic is because it is using a promotional hashtag to shame tourists for social ills that are largely the result of poor civic management and an unequal distribution of wealth.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2019 19:39:11
 
RobF

Posts: 254
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RE: Flamenco: no es un show! (in reply to ViejoAmargo

quote:

I don't object to tourists watching flamenco shows in a tablao, as long as both the performers and the tourists respect the cultural depth and emotional intensity of flamenco. I would think that's the spirit of the "Flamenco no es un show!" graffitti.


I firmly believe that while a living art form may coexist with and benefit from curation, it grows and breathes in spite of it. I realize I might be in a minority here holding that view.

But I also fear you may giving the graffiti artist a whole lot more credit than they deserve. The “no es un show” message, taken in context with the other slogans, appears to be the work of a person who is just reaching into a well used grab-bag of oft repeated platitudes in an attempt to promote a reactionary nationalist view. I doubt the sincerity of any of it. To my mind they are using anti-tourism and flamenco as a convenient manipulative tool. Tomorrow the vehicle may be different, but the agenda will be unchanged.

This is not to say that huge throngs of people are any fun to be stuck in or that people shouldn’t behave more respectfully when they visit places. It’s just there’s something about this particular story that doesn’t quite ring true.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2019 20:00:10
 
El Burdo

 

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RE: Flamenco: no es un show! (in reply to Escribano

During my flamencology reading binge last year I was struck by how much of 'a show' there actually was going on (particularly as portrayed in Lives and Legends of Flamenco). The Cuadro pictures in 1918, the scene in the Alameda de Hercules, the 1925 Fiesta Flamencas, Homenajes, Golden Keys etc. There was evidently a very solid professional scene far removed from the sentimental simple yet enormously talented goatherd aspect that we love. There was money to be made and no doubt compromises along with it.

Maybe the graffito is simply saying there is a culture that is not being represented by the 'entertainment' - though tearing it up across someone's white wall is probably counter-productive in generating a united front or persuading 'the tourists' that there is something to think about.

quote:

She...considers herself to be a "traveler," moving among "the people." Yet she does not know a lot about her destinations

Another way of looking at the traveller/tourist thing is to recognise that people who assert their puro travelling credentials are probably just a bit insecure as your friend could well have been (and therefore nothing to get annoyed by). Personally, I soon dispatched any such identity and got on with hitching to new places to not eat.

During that period in the middle 70s, where attitudes were less hard earned I did enter into the town of Sète to be greeted by 'Touriste Con' emblazened across the port wall in brilliant white paint. I think there were about 8 ex-students in the Youth Hostel. Naturally, they were all German.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2019 21:30:34
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2604
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Flamenco: no es un show! (in reply to BarkellWH

quote:

ORIGINAL: BarkellWH

Richard, with all due respect, I fail to see where bringing up Chan Sheng Mai (AKA Anna Chennault) is relevant to this discussion. That she was a refined member of the Chinese upper class is well known. In her heyday, average Chinese did not travel, and her life is hardly a rebuttal to my good friend, the dive/tour owner in Palau, stating that today Russians and Chinese have become the obnoxious, loud, uncouth tourists. Demanding and uncouth, as most nouveau riche are.

Bill


It was not meant as a rebuttal. I simply realized that I had condemned the Chinese en masse while in fact I knew of at least one exception. Anna Chennault was not entirely admirable. Lyndon Johnson's accusation that she worked to prolong the Vietnam war is pretty well known.

I think you, Sam and I agree on the general character of today's Chinese mass tourism.

But along a similar line, the last time we were in Florence almost four years ago, we stood near the Baptistery. The space to the left of the cathedral was filled with tourists, generally of European appearance. The people were literally shoulder to shoulder, back to belly. I would have been unable even to walk into the crowd, much less make it through the space.

I was repelled by the spectacle. Anyone who knows me well would tell you I am generally uncomfortable in large dense crowds. In retrospect, I am aware that i projected my dislike of crowds onto the individuals making it up. However, there were so many in it that it seems inevitable there would have been a few whose acquaintance I would have enjoyed as individuals.

Still I regret and dislike the large crowds now encountered in many popular tourist destinations. My college room mate Tom F., who has lived in Munich for decades, says he likes to visit Venice in the winter time. He enjoys the quiet and the fog. But winter is the time for acqua alta. The tides are stronger when we are closer to the sun, and storms are more frequent in winter.

It seems to me that the character of many tourists these days is different from years ago. We have stayed a few times in an apartment in a residenze in Venice. It is connected by three blocks of broad sidewalks to the Piazza San Marco, and there is a bar nearby that's good for breakfast. We have formed a casual acquaintance with the proprietors.

Last time as we waited near the door for the water taxi to depart, the residenze's proprietress remarked on the change in tourist attitudes. While I'm a tourist I almost always carry a camera. I said, "Yes. It used to be when people took a photo it said, 'Here is the mountain,' or 'here is the building.' Now the photos say, 'Here am I.' "

The proprietress agreed, "Exactly."

I have seriously considered spending a week or two in Florence in the winter. I would take a warm coat and give up on dining outdoors in the Piazza della Signoria. But I would be able to get into the Cathedral and Santa Croce, and the Uffizi and the Academia would not be choked by crowds.

Even in summertime the Galileo museum is free of crowds. I find it fascinating. It exhibits artifacts from the origins of modern science, dating from the 16th and 17th centuries.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2019 22:15:03
 
RobF

Posts: 254
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Flamenco: no es un show! (in reply to El Burdo

quote:

During my flamencology reading binge last year I was struck by how much of 'a show' there actually was going on (particularly as portrayed in Lives and Legends of Flamenco). The Cuadro pictures in 1918, the scene in the Alameda de Hercules, the 1925 Fiesta Flamencas, Homenajes, Golden Keys etc. There was evidently a very solid professional scene far removed from the sentimental simple yet enormously talented goatherd aspect that we love. There was money to be made and no doubt compromises along with it.


Well said.

I think it may be fitting to refer to the words of Granada’s own Enrique Morente:

“It is us, the professional artists of flamenco, who have to make cante flamenco, and nobody else, Flamenco, like any other art, is an art of professionals, although there are many people who peer at us, with a look as if to say: What interesting little creatures! or maybe: Oh! What music the people are playing! and so on. And people often think that maybe you have to have fingers swollen from picking potatoes to be able to play the guitar with feeling. Look, picking potatoes is every bit as worthy as playing a guitar. But I can tell you that a man -with fine, sensitive fingers is not going to be able to make a go of picking potatoes: and I can also tell you that a man with fingers swollen from picking potatoes is not going to be able to play a guitar because he hasn't got the manual dexterity and he hasn't got the dedication. This is a profession like any other which you have to dedicate yourself to completely. It is an art of professionals."

And professionals are acutely aware of the significance of the Show. That graffiti artist is a phoney.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2019 22:28:16
 
mrstwinkle

 

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RE: Flamenco: no es un show! (in reply to Richard Jernigan

7 billion people and risng. Very few people seem to think it is an issue.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2019 22:29:04
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2604
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Flamenco: no es un show! (in reply to RobF

quote:

ORIGINAL: RobF

I think it may be fitting to refer to the words of Granada’s own Enrique Morente:

“It is us, the professional artists of flamenco, who have to make cante flamenco, and nobody else, Flamenco, like any other art, is an art of professionals,..."



This point is made repeatedly in "La llave de la musica flamenca" by the professional musicologists Antonio and David Hurtado Torres. In a number of instances they trace the origin of one of today's "traditional" palos to a specific professional artist of the late 19th or early 20th centuries.

They start out criticizing in general terms the attitude that flamenco is a folk art, and continue by specifically objecting to Mairena and Molina's "Mundo y Formas del Cante Flamenco."

The Hurtado brothers trace the "folk art" fallacy as far back as Demófilo, one of the earliest widely cited "flamencologists."

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2019 23:20:47
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11080
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Flamenco: no es un show! (in reply to Richard Jernigan

One Dutch student at Gerardo’s curso in Sanlucar (Donald, who that appeared in that flamenco teaching video series with Tino and others a while back) had the same exact red and white Hawaiian shirt as me....so we both made a point to wear them together on the Thursday of the week Curso, and subsequent years afterward. Probably from 2002-2008 or so it became the tradition for us. So upon my return with a group of friends to Sanlucar in 2009 we noticed these signs all around the town “welcome tourists!!!” And there were these illustrated life sized cardboard cut outs of “foreigners” strategically placed all around the town....and one of them was a guy with a Hawaiian shirt, sunglasses, and a guitar case on his back!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 2 2019 14:53:59
 
mrstwinkle

 

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RE: Flamenco: no es un show! (in reply to Richard Jernigan

"All professions are conspiracies against the laity."

George Bernard Shaw
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 2 2019 15:00:35
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 2829
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Flamenco: no es un show! (in reply to RobF

quote:

It is us, the professional artists of flamenco, who have to make cante flamenco, and nobody else, Flamenco, like any other art, is an art of professionals,...


Spoken like a member of one of the medieval European guilds, which were formed both to maintain standards and keep others out, thus reducing competition.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 2 2019 15:24:04
 
Brendan

Posts: 165
Joined: Oct. 30 2010
 

RE: Flamenco: no es un show! (in reply to Escribano

Are tourists worse or just more numerous? I doubt that anecdotes can decide this.

This article introduces a distinction between ‘existential’ tourism and ‘leisure’ tourism that may be useful (or not! I hold no brief for it): https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxvYnNjdXJlZmxhbWVuY29sb2d5fGd4OjZjNGI4NmU5MWViMzAxZjc

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 2 2019 15:41:52
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 2829
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Flamenco: no es un show! (in reply to Escribano

quote:

You could visit Amalfi and sit outside a cafe without getting your feet stamped on when the boats came in.


Be thankful that in Amalfi you only had your feet stamped on by tourists when the boats came in.

Today's news carries a story about one of those behemoth cruise ships, carrying 2,100 passengers, approaching a pier in Venice, Italy, when it hit a nearby boat before crashing into the pier, sending many on the pier running. Four people were injured. Ain't mass tourism wonderful? Ain't it just, though.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 2 2019 16:50:46
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