Travelling has been one of my greatest passions for several years. When exploring a new place, I always try my best to find alternative ways to encounter the unknown city or region. It’s very likely that I would avoid central tourist attractions and instead search around to get to the ‘‘true essence’’ of the new culture. Last Sunday, my friends and I went to see the World Press Photo exhibition which took place in the Marché Bonsecour right in the heart of Old Montreal. I was astonished to see the intense crowd of tourists and how much they resembled each other in their appearance and behaviour. From this experience, I came up with the idea of a tourist tour (a circuit where the tourist is the star, and not the building or monument). ////////// The intention behind this project is to research the Montreal tourist community and to understand the background of individuals met at specific touristic attractions. I want to gather data and share it through habitatmap.org as a way to organize information which is accessible to all Internet surfers. ////////// On October 3rd 2011, I wandered in Old Montreal and found 25 visitors willing to share their information with me. Simple questions were asked: Name, home country, duration of Montreal visit, how they feel about the city. In addition I carefully noted the time and location of each encounter. I finished every interview by taking a picture (with signed permission) of the tourist in its natural environment. Not all agreed to the picture taking: I got 16 pictures out of 25 interviews. ////////// What you see on the map is the result of my research organized in space. Each individual has their own marker placed on the exact location of our encounter. ////////// Finally and most importantly, this is a public project accessible to all which allows people from around the world to take action in this Global Tourist Tour. I encourage you to follow the same steps described above either in Montreal or in your home city. The participatory aspect of the project permits the idea of a ‘’guided tourist tour’’ to truly come alive as we commune together through action. Let's take advantage of this great Internet site to turn the roles inside out: the spectator as spectacle.
Maps created by Vincent Briere:
This map describes my encounters with Montreal tourists on Ocotober 3rd 2011.
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