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Existential Walking

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Camønoen is a new pilgrim route in Møn, Denmark. This tourism attraction markets itself as a pilgrim experience for everybody. This paper analyses this eclectic pilgrimage through a stream of philosophy representative of a similar assemblage - Existentialism. It asks what understandings appear if we use an
existentialist approach to study the experience of walking this invented pilgrim route. The theoretical grounding is a conversation between the literature on contemporary touristic pilgrimage and Existentialism as presented in Walter Kaufmann’s works. The knowledge about the case of Camønoen is based on a two-year engagement, which has included the development of workshops, field work and interviews with core stakeholders and pilgrims. The core empirical material of this study is narrower; a data set of 380 Instagram images shared by pilgrims. The coding and analysis of the data follows two visual methods: the thematic and the metaphorical. Findings show a strong resonance between the experience as portrayed by the pilgrims’ photographs and core aspects of existential thought such as solitude and the self, presence and contemplation,
authenticity and integrity, possibility and freedom, and the passing of time; and a much lower resonance of other topics such as dread, guilt or religious faith. The study examines contemporary understandings of tourism
responsibility. It invites us to address the limits to commercialization and institutionalized religiosity, and to explore how touristic experiences far from being banal, can provide the ‘legitimate’ spaces (and excuses) for questioned/challenged cultural practices in contemporary societies such as spiritual contemplation and slowness; inviting to states-of-being that foster resilience and move beyond and across busy/productive/consumerist lifestyles.

Publication information

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of Abstracts : 2nd International Conference of the Critical Tourism Studies Asia-Pacific. Tourism in Troubled Times: Responsibility, Resistance and Resurgence in the Asia Pacific Critical Tourism Studies, 2020
Number of pages1
Publication date2020
Pages45
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event2nd International Conference of the Critical Tourism Studies Asia-Pacific. CTSAP 2020: Tourism in Troubled Times: Responsibility, Resistance and Resurgence in the Asia Pacific - Wakayama University, Wakayama, Japan
Duration: 17 Feb 202019 Feb 2020
Conference number: 2
https://www.criticaltourismstudies.com/

Conference

Conference2nd International Conference of the Critical Tourism Studies Asia-Pacific. CTSAP 2020
Nummer2
LocationWakayama University
LandJapan
ByWakayama
Periode17/02/202019/02/2020
Internetadresse

ID: 59914379