Linda Boukhris* - Université Paris I-Sorbonne / UC Berkeley
Costa Rica has shaped its tourist destiny through a powerful tourist imaginary, constituted by the mythologized representation of wild nature as well as the peaceful representation of a small state without armed forces. This image of a political paradise is not recent and the Costa Rican "difference" in regards to its stability and exemplary nature has been based on the racial theory of its white population, the discourse of "whiteness" to explain such a situation. If today Costa Rica glorifies the image of a multicultural nation in the context of globalized tourist development, the apologia of Nature within the tourist and national discourse is still a way to deny the cultural differences through a homogenization of the nation around geographical figures (emphasizing scientific aspects of biodiversity rather than historical and socio-cultural contexts of the production of landscapes). The indigenous people in their reservations are rendered invisible and the Afro-Caribbean population is isolated in the province of Limon, in the Caribbean coast, an enclave within the national space. Thus, the idea is to nail down to what extent Costa Rican calypso music is an analytical lens to read and understand the racialization of space, leading music to be defined as a cognitive construction that helps us to comprehend spatial phenomena. This paper proposes also to analyze how music imaginary and music performance, mediated through tourist practices (concerts, festivals…), participates in the production of a territorial identity and entails that the "blackness" component is integrated into the Costa Rican national imaginary.