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La imagen del rural en la promoción turística de Galicia.

Author(s): Rubén Camilo Lois González, María José Piñeira Mantiñán, David Santomil Mosquera

Journal: Oceánide
ISSN 1989-6328

Volume: 2;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Galicia | tourism | foreign perspective | promotion.

The image of rural spaces is the sum total of the qualities, traits and symbols linked to that specific space, and shared by the largest number of inhabitants. This image does not exist by itself, but is rather the whole representation of individuals. It is materialized through the use of adjectives and symbolization (selected elements regarded as being characteristic of a space). In this way, people simplify the mental map of the rural space to remember the totality through an extremely small and symbolic part. For each of us, there is no target rural space, but we have a particular view based on our experiences, our own knowledge and induced information. The result is a subjective and global image, which is conditioned by the elements around us that directly impact on the shaping of our views and actions. The image of rural space has been changing throughout history. Tangible elements (buildings, vegetation, agricultural uses, etc.) and intangible (demographic, economic, culture, lifestyle, etc.) have been transformed by history. Galicia has been traditionally linked to rural spaces as a backward and peripheral region of Europe. This was an objective reality constructed from its eminently agrarian nature. In the late nineteenth century, the majority of the population of Galicia lived in rural spaces. Only 7% lived in cities. Consequently, agriculture and livestock were the main activities for 85% of the Galician population. This was reflected in the main literary works and paintings of the time. Galician writers such as Rosalía de Castro reflected the culture and social environment arising from a national identity made up of representative elements of rural society. The Galician anthem introduces us to rural Galicia, showing an image of the bucolic and romantic rural landscape, coinciding with the Romantic Movement in Europe, itself concerned with the cultural identity of peoples. The foreign scope of this reality was in part spread by the intervention of prominent cultural figures on BBC radio broadcasts from London between 1947 and 1956, and also through oral transmission by a group of Galician migrants in America and Europe. The most representative elements of rural spaces were the natural environment (sea, pine trees, water, vegetation, birds, livestock, etc.), weather (wind, rain), Heritage (granaries, churches), emotions and feelings (nostalgia, homesickness, grief) and a series of ethnographic elements. Foreign authors like the American photographer Ruth M. Anderson also gave expression to these elements on images for first time. Throughout this paper we will observe how the evolution of the transmitted image of the Galician rural space developed, from the bucolic past up to the present reading. We will analyze the various promotional campaigns, tourist posters, brochures, etc. developed by the main agents responsible for promoting tourism in Galicia: Turgalicia and Xacobeo. We can see that a bucolic and melancholic image is still being used to convey the landscape and lifestyle of rural Galicia. We will see how in the promotional campaigns the Atlantic aspects are enhanced by the introduction of unique and singular elements of our territory based on Galician cultural identity and language.
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