ISSN: 1364971X
First published in 1988
3 issues per volume
Volume 21 Issue 2
Cover Date: November 2008
Souvenirs and cultural politics in Santiago de Compostela
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Authors:  Wayne Fife And  Sharon R. Roseman 
DOI: 10.1386/ijis.21.2.109_1

Keywords
Galicia, Santiago de Compostela, souvenirs, tourism, visual landscape

Abstract
This article focuses on the visual landscape created by displays of souvenirs for sale in the Galician capital of Santiago de Compostela. It demonstrates that images of St. James and other Catholic symbols compete with more recent representations of the pilgrimage to Santiago, including the modernist mascot O Peregrín created for the 1993 Holy Year. Equally prevalent are souvenirs that constitute reflections on Galician culture, ranging from folklorized images of rural areas as well as kitsch and camp objects commenting on a range of topics from witchcraft to vernacular architecture. The article concludes with a discussion of the expanded presence in recent years of ‘message’ T-shirts that aim to raise people's consciousness about both local and international matters, including the need to defend the Galician language, environmental protection and fair trade. Through its analysis of the multifaceted role of souvenirs, this article demonstrates that while tourism is linked to cultural appropriation and commoditization, it can also be an avenue for political activism in defence of local cultures and translocal concerns.
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