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Exceptionality as Leisure

Exceptionality as Leisure

Tourism and Urban Planning in the New South and Democratic Spain

(p.176) Chapter 6 Exceptionality as Leisure
Between Distant Modernities
Brittany Powell Kennedy
University Press of Mississippi

By examining tourist culture, this chapter shows how the commodification of the “old world” Spain and South is performed via its construction of seemingly “new” urban spaces, in particular, the Olympic cities of Barcelona and Atlanta. Meanwhile, films like José Luis Guerín’s En construcción (2001) and John Sayles’s Sunshine State (2002), though very different, directly address the issue of urban renewal in, respectively, Barcelona and the Florida coastline, demonstrating the “construction” that making the old into something new is a performance that involves constructing it as “authentically” old, thus making it worthy—and interesting—for renewal. What Guerín and Sayles critique, therefore, is not the altering of the landscape itself, but the performativity inherent in constructing space around binary opposites, specifically those of new and old as well as foreigner (or tourist) and native.

Keywords:   Spanish tourist culture, Southern tourism, Barcelona, Atlanta, Olympics

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