Souvenir, souvenir: Un antropólogo ante el turismo.


Souvenir, souvenir: Un antropólogo ante el turismo. Concreta, 2019.

Author: Fernando Estévez

Editors: José Díaz Cuyás and Pablo Estévez Hernández 

Preface: Dean MacCannell

Introductión: Pablo Estévez Hernández


Fernando Estévez González was an atypical anthropologist. His main research effort focused on dismantling the colonial and ideological prejudices of his own discipline, and critiquing the role played by the social sciences in the construction of the identity narrative in the Canary Islands. His book Indigenismo, raza y evolución. El pensamiento antropológico canario (1750-1900) [Indigenism, race and evolution. Anthropological thought in the Canary Islands (1750-1900)] published in 1987, continues to be a work of reference for deactivating attempts to appropriate the ghost of the primitive: in this case the ancient Guanche people of the Canary Islands.

The same theoretical passion that led him to write conceptually and methodologically irreproachable texts was what induced him not only to break with the tenets of his discipline to pioneer the uncomfortable subject of tourism, but also to get involved early on with the emerging field of ethnographic museography along the lines of Neuchâtel (as director of the Museo de Antropología e Historia de Tenerife), establish an open dialogue with contemporary art (as can be seen in his various exhibition projects), and ultimately to abandon his scientific neutrality as an ethnographer and to commit himself to lost causes. There are outstanding examples of all this in this book, which brings together the various ways in which Fernando Estévez González tackled the issue of tourism: as an essayist and academic speaker, as a popularizer, as an exhibition curator and as activist.

Dean MacCannell said about him: ' I was lucky enough to be one of the first readers in English of Fernando's essays in this book [...]. It offers us wise answers to many of the contradictions, paradoxes, and antinomies that not only anthropology but any informed global citizen faces.'