Itineraries of Enlightenment: Whirling Dervish Shows, Ethnographic Reflexivity, and Tourism in Egypt and Turkey
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AbstractBy the year 2010, both Turkey and Egypt had achieved tremendous success in growing their tourism markets, in part by turning to Sufi spiritual and musical practices, which had by then been internally rehabilitated after being historically met with suspicion or outright suppression even as they gained a global following in the New Spiritualties and World Music arenas. Taking the case of the so-called ‘whirling dervish show,’ this article traces how its characteristic ‘dance’ was strategically used to promote tourism and how rituals featuring it were adapted for presentation to ever-bigger audiences coming from abroad. Based on ethnographic research conducted in Cairo and throughout Turkey, the article demonstrates how binary distinctions between tourist and pilgrim, sacred and profane, and local and foreign, become quickly blurred or contested at these shows and in other sacred settings involving travel. Further embedding the musical ethnographer within these vagaries, the article seeks two main ends: to call for an ethnomusicological method that better accounts for tourists and their subjective experiences and, thereby, to also encourage more open reflexive framework in which the fieldworker working in tourist and tourist-like settings can better take stock of their own positionality while in situ and when engaging in the writing of ethnography.
Acceptance Date02/06/2019
All Author(s) ListVictor Amaro VICENTE
Journal nameMusicologist
Year2019
Month6
Day30
Volume Number3
Issue Number1
PublisherTrabzon University
Pages37 - 57
ISSN2618-5652
LanguagesEnglish-United States
KeywordsEthnography, Reflexivity, Sufi music, Tourism, Turkey, Egypt

Last updated on 2020-31-03 at 02:39