Lampedusa: Tourism and Migration “We’re more than just hosts”
Klooster, N.B. van 't
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The Sicilian island of Lampedusa finds itself increasingly referred in media and academic accounts as exclusively a place for migration and tourism. As Appadurai explains, these demographic flows are part and parcel of globalisation, changing space, place and time conditions on the island. Following Ortner’s definition of agency, this thesis shows that Lampedusans have a type of agency in both migration and tourism that is particular to the island. Applying Phillips’ concept of “spatialisation of power” to the case, I argue on the basis of ethnographic data gathered in the autumn of 2011 that Lampedusans have five particular strategies managing tourism flows, rendering them at times masters of their own island, but that concerning migration they are at other times constrained by the global political circumstances. Expanding on Ogletree’s bifurcation of hospitality, I coin the terms minimal and extended hospitality. Minimal hospitality is the offering of hospitality by the host, while extended hospitality is the reciprocation of hospitality by the guest, for instance by sharing cultural knowledge. I argue that Lampedusans’ inclination and wish is to practice the latter, but that the former is the only one allowed by the international legal limitations in place on Lampedusa. Finally, I use Foucault’s broad definition of government to analyse how Lampedusans govern both themselves and others, thereby altering the island’s outlook.