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Selling “Sites of Desire”: Paradise in Reality Television, Tourism, and Real Estate Promotion in Vanuatu

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Title:Selling “Sites of Desire”: Paradise in Reality Television, Tourism, and Real Estate Promotion in Vanuatu
Authors:McDonnell, Siobhan
Keywords:customary land
tourism
real estate
reality television
paradise
show 2 moreVanuatu
bikini
show less
LC Subject Headings:Oceania -- Periodicals
Date Issued:2018
Publisher:University of Hawai‘i Press
Center for Pacific Islands Studies
Citation:McDonnell, S. 2018. Selling “Sites of Desire”: Paradise in Reality Television, Tourism, and Real Estate Promotion in Vanuatu. The Contemporary Pacific 30 (2): 413–436.
Abstract:In a continuum from early voyages of “discovery,” Pacific landscapes continue to be created through the visual representations and geographical imaginings that inform foreign desires. Just as early exploration narratives and paintings fashioned the Pacific as an exotic Eden peopled with alluring women, contemporary media manufactures Pacific landscapes as sites of desire. Beginning with the filming of the Survivor reality television series, this article explores how the visual representations and narrative tropes attached to Efate Island in Vanuatu were instrumental in the commodification of customary land as real estate, subsequently sold to expatriates for tourism resorts and residential housing. Television, tourism, and real estate images are not benign. In these images the landscape is rendered terra nullius—absent of local inhabitants and ripe for possession—enabling the neocolonial possession of Pacific landscapes by foreigners and the dispossession of local Indigenous inhabitants.
Pages/Duration:24 pages
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10125/64960
ISSN:1043-898X
Appears in Collections: TCP [The Contemporary Pacific], 2018 - Volume 30, Number 2


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