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The Decaying Port City as a Tourist Destination. Valparaíso’s Commodified Decline

Seoighe, Rachel, Cuevas Valenzuela, Hernan (2021) The Decaying Port City as a Tourist Destination. Valparaíso’s Commodified Decline. European Journal of Creative Practices in Cities and Landscapes, 4 (2). pp. 82-107. ISSN 2612-0496. (doi:10.6092/issn.2612-0496/12139) (KAR id:93699)


This article explores the neoliberal transformation of Valparaíso from a deindustrialised, declining city to a site of tourist appeal that commodifies, in an ambivalent but striking way, its own decay. We describe the city’s economic, social and cultural trajectory from a period of global importance as a key port city to deindustrialisation and the acceleration of the city’s decline and the imposition of violent economic policies between 1970s and 90s. Drawing on the notion of slow violence and critical literature around heritage, postcolonial, deindustrial and ‘poverty’ tourism, we trace the impact and materiality of economic abandonment into the present moment, together with the city’s contemporary reliance on tourism for economic survival through a form of dereliction tourism. In a port city like Valparaíso, which has suffered economic decline, widening inequality and precariousness, of which neoliberalism is one cause, the full plasticity and ambivalence of neoliberalization processes is revealed.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.6092/issn.2612-0496/12139
Uncontrolled keywords: Valparaíso, Slow Violence, Neoliberalization, Dereliction Tourism, Heritagization
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Rachel Seoighe
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2022 10:02 UTC
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2022 12:27 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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