Consuming the Coast: mid-century communications of port tourism in the southern african Indian Ocean
Palavras-chave:Cruise liners, Port cities, Southern Africa, Tourism, Consumption
Throughout the early to mid-20th century, tourist passenger cruise liners moving along the Southern African coast were a popular leisure activity, undertaken by largely elite (white) Europeans (predominately British), Americans, and South Africans, with stopping off points including multiple Indian Ocean port cities such as Cape Town and Durban in South Africa and Lourenço Marques and Beira in Portuguese Mozambique. By considering the above twined port cities in relation to their entangled colonial and tourist pasts, and as operating within a distinct regional “cultural corridor”(NUTALL, 2009) of Southern Africa, this paper explores a series of leisured port spaces as inter-connected via the passenger cruise liner. The basis for my historical navigation is the tourism yearbooks produced by the Union-Castle Line, Round Africa service, those for 1939 and 1949 respectively. That these guidebooks serve as portholes into the cosmopolitan microcosmic world of cruise ships makes them invaluable for understanding the history of leisure (and its concomitant products, consumer goods and advertising) in Southern Africa.
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