Souvenir, souvenir. Un antropólogo ante el turismo (An anthropologist in the face of tourism)
Title: Souvenir, souvenir. Un antropólogo ante el turismo (Souvenir, souvenir. An anthropologist in the face of tourism).
Author: Fernando Estévez González.
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Fernando Estévez González was always an atypical anthropologist. His main research focused on tasks as unprofitable academically as dismantling colonial and ideological prejudices in his own discipline, or criticising the role played by the social sciences in the construction of the identity narrative in the Canary Islands. His book Indigenismo, raza y evolución. El pensamiento antropológico canario (1750-1900), published in 1987, continues to be a reference work for deactivating any attempt to appropriate the ghost of the primitive: in this case the Guanche. But Estévez was not comfortable with the disciplinary limits of the use, he liked to introduce himself as a “part-time farmer, clandestine cook and accidental anthropologist.”We could also add that he was a speculative “accident provocateur”, since it was this same theoretical passion that led him to write conceptually and methodologically irreproachable texts that induced him to break with the habits of his discipline in order to deal with such an uncomfortable subject as tourism with marked anticipation; or to get involved very early in the new ethnographic museography along the lines of Neuchâtel (as director of the Museo de Antropología e Historia de Tenerife); or to establish very early an open dialogue with contemporary art (as it can be seen in his various exhibition projects); also to abandon his scientific neutrality as an ethnographer and to commit himself to lost causes. There are brilliant examples of all this in this book, which brings together the different ways in which Fernando Estévez González tackled the subject of tourism: as an essayist and academic speaker, as a disseminator, as an exhibition curator and as an activist.