Mr. Richie and the tourists

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Affect, Seduction, Tropical representations, Spatial fields of contact, Tourism, Belize


This paper tracks the affective intensity and emergent potential that is part of making contact with Richie, a local Creole villager from Walliceville, Belize. Tourists and expats are drawn to Richie and seduced by him, his colorful language and personality. My attention in this paper is directed to the spatialized force fields of contact between tourists, expats and local creole villagers, like Richie, by attending to the way these contact fields conjure forces of wild vitality that both agitate and fascinate social life in Belize. I focus on how Richie acts as a powerful representation of tropical “no worries” Creole life. But more than that, he carries a sensory charge, seducing tourists and expats into crazy moments of abandon, a “sensing beyond security” (Manning, 2007: 134–161), that exceeds the work of Caribbean tourist representations to become moments when forces are activated as impacts that provoke things, for better or for worse. I argue that such moments spawn worlds that build forms of attachment and become the vital fields of sensations that incite life as emergent forces coming into play in this postcolonial state of emergency taking shape as neo-liberal exception, on the edge of global empire, in Belize.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Emotion, Space and Society, v. 12, p. 92-100

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