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Berättelser från en vandringsled - Om upplevelser av kulturarvet Camino Français

By Pernilla Hjelt

Abstract

In my master thesis Stories from a Walking Trail, about the Experiences of the Cultural Heritage Camino Français I describe and analyze oral and written stories about the pilgrimage along Camino Français. I ask what can be revealed in these stories and in what way the pilgrim hikers relate to the time before, during and after their journey. I discuss what function these stories can be said to have in individual and collective identity and cultural heritage processes. One theoretic perspective that I use is about the function of narratives and stories in peoples reconstructions of memories and forming of identities. I have also chosen phenomenological perspectives in which body, situation and environment, consciousness and absence will be important components. A third theoretic perspective focuses on the meeting between cultural heritage, memory and identity. The written stories that I analyse in this thesis are self-biographical travel books, which have either been published as paper books or as Bloggs on the Internet while the oral stories are interviews and observation material that I have conducted. The stories reveal how a dialogue between becoming hikers and stories about the pilgrimage along Camino Français gives the becoming hikers the ability to assimilate a cultural identity and a time space environment so that they, according to their preconditions, can prepare themselves for a personal walking experience. The hikers relation to time on the path are linked to how the body impacts on the meeting between their intentions to do a pilgrimage and the situations and environments that is the walking. Meaningful situations are revealed through descriptions of the hikers meetings with the paths different environments and time changes when the hikers identify themselves with the trails contemporary and historical sites. A social world is also revealed through the storytellers descriptions of what collectively can be said to be pilgrim-cultural narratives which gives the hikers a framework to relate to on the trail. The hikers can be said to share a collective memory, as they share the experience of walking on Camino Français, which do not mean that they bring the same experiences back home. The stories of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela can be seen as an immaterial cultural heritage that passes on a cultural hiker identity. The criticism on society comes to life in the hiker identity and simultaneously this is a part of modernity. The stories can be said to give people an opportunity to choose their identity, but the choice can at the same time be seen as an illusion while other forces than the individual often determine which stories gets to be available for people to identify them self with. Several aspects of the aim that The European Institute of Cultural Routs emphasizes can be seen in the stories while other aspects, like those who speaks of a greater understanding of European history, like the Muslim parts of history, only can be seen peripherally. The stories reveal that the walk along Camino Françis both can be a part of modernity identity norms and a life changing experience in peoples lives.Mastersexamensarbete i etnologi, 30 hp, VT 2014 Inom programmet Kulturarv och modernitet, materiellt och immateriellt under 1000 år, Göteborgs universite

Year: 2014
OAI identifier: oai:gupea.ub.gu.se:2077/36037

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