Alluring Opportunities: Tourism, Empire, and African Labor in Colonial Mozambique
Published by: Cornell University Press
Imprint: Cornell University Press
Sales Date: 2023-06-15
Published: June 2023
216 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.88 in, 8 b&w halftones, 3 maps
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Alluring Opportunities examines the lives of African laborers in the tourism industry in the Portuguese colony of Mozambique and the social ascension that many of these workers achieved in spite of demanding conditions. From the origin of the colonial period until its end in 1975, the tourism industry developed on the backs of these laborers and ultimately became an important source of foreign exchange for Portugal.
Todd Cleveland explores the daily experiences of local tourism workers in the genesis and expansion of this vital industry with an analytical utility that transcends Africa's borders by complicating the narrative established and reinforced by an expansive body of literature that stresses the exploitation of indigenous tourism workers. He argues that just as foreign tourists embraced the opportunity to travel to various locations in Mozambique, so too did many Indigenous laborers seize opportunities for employment in the tourism industry in an effort to realize social mobility via both the steady wages that they earned and their daily interactions with sojourning clientele.
Alluring Opportunities reconstructs these workers' lives, highlighting their critical contributions to the local industry, while also prompting a reconsideration of Indigenous labor and social mobility in colonial Africa. As a result, Cleveland reveals new ways of thinking, more broadly, about the ways that tourism shapes processes of empire, interracial interactions, and power relations.