Date of Award

4-15-2016

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Communication, M.A.

Department

Communication Studies

LC Subjects

Postcolonialism--Africa; Postcolonialism--Economic aspects; Postcolonial theory; Postcolonial theology--Africa

Abstract

This project consists of qualitative interviews with 26 safari guides in Tanzania, and investigates the relationship between colonial framing of Africa and the impact the ‘single story’ of Africa has had on safari guides and the perception of their skills by Western tourists. This project is an attempt to challenge the dominant ‘single story’ of Africa that has been partially flattened, I argue, through the touristic gaze, wildlife photography and Western (mis)representations. Beginning with the interpretive-critical assumption that there is no objective truth and guided by post-colonial theory, qualitative interviews, crystallization and arts-informed methods help answer questions about three main topics. One: the impact of the single story on guides (including the misperceptions of guests and the idea of ambassadors), two: the role of servitude in relation to skills (reviewing what skills guides have before discussing the recognition of those skills), and three: the effects of tourism and the Western gaze on Tanzania. My primary aim in this exploration is to make further sense of the essential role of safari guides and reveal how their role as “others” has affected their ability to receive credit for their knowledge and skills. In addition to this manuscript, this project also consists of a 20-minute documentary film that attempts to show multiple facets of Tanzanians, specifically the safari guides who make touristic experiences possible.

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