DOI: 10.3727/152599524x17077053867610 ISSN: 1525-9951

A Geography of Hope? Decolonizing Space through the Storytelling and Place-making of a Festival

Kelley A McClinchey
  • Marketing
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Business and International Management

This study explores the potential for Caribbean festivals through storytelling and place-making to decolonize everyday spaces. It investigates the potential for festivals to transform places through festivals’ anti-colonial cultural and creative resources. The paper begins with a review of relevant literature on festivals, storytelling and place-making. Junkanoo in The Bahamas is presented as a case with which to explore how storytelling as counter narrative to colonial legacies and the neocolonialism of tourism can re-affirm the importance of the festival to place. While there are both placemaking and place-making processes at work for Junkanoo, passionate community members and cultural leaders provide continued agency alongside powerful placemaking structures. Two alternative conceptual models of place-making and placemaking and possible influences on everyday spatial geographies are presented. The conclusion offers a framework for continued theory development and practice in the decolonization of place through festival storytelling. Place-making with local storytelling enhances strategies for community development through the inclusion of under-represented communities especially African descendent populations for developing more equitable frameworks for heritage justice.

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