While walking in old medina of Essaouria, Morocco, I passed a street stall filled with rows of knockoff films and software for sale. I couldn’t tell where they were made, but they appeared to be packaged exactly the same as knockoff software sold in China.
I have a small collection of souvenirs collected on a shelf in my office. I they are not personal souvenirs, but a teaching collection that I use in a class I teach on the anthropology of travel: Pilgrims, Travelers, and Tourists. For this reason, I have tended to collect the most kitschy souvenirs I can find—souvenirs that scream, “I am a souvenir!” In other words, I have been collecting meta-souvenirs which reference their souvenir-ness more than the site where they were […]