The night is rising: How magical stories and new animism influence winter tourism light trails

Conference paper


Lovell, J. 2023. The night is rising: How magical stories and new animism influence winter tourism light trails.
AuthorsLovell, J.
TypeConference paper
Description

The Night is Rising: How magical stories and new animism influence winter tourism light trails

This paper makes an original contribution to tourism research by examining how nature enhances technological immersion in the context of animism at winter light trails. The study offers an original view on light festival literature by taking into account their more-than-human, natural features such as local wildlife, the forests in which these events take place and the skyscapes above the event. A theoretical framework is provided by conceptualising ‘new animism’ (Ingold, 2006; MacFarlane, 2019) which suggests that the technological immersion of light trails is shaped around and by the spirits of place, those guardians of the natural world.

Light trails are popular visitor attractions. They are often used during the winter months in cities, or the grounds of historic properties, to extend the tourist season, disperse visitors and attract new audiences to historic and natural sites. They are designed to be immersive phenomena, illuminating overlooked aspects of locations to bring the night to life for visitors. The study extends the work of Lovell and Griffin (2022) who explored how enchantment is produced by light installation designers using folkloric narratives. This work expands on this idea by negotiating the influence of animism in 70’s children’s magical literature series The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper and Alan Garner’s The Owl Service on the creators of these trails.

The methodology combines autoethnographic reflections on visits to light trails captured during the winter of 2022-23 while reading Cooper and Garner, with semi-structured interviews conducted with the creative designers of light trails in early 2023, which was examined using thematic analysis. The light trails examined include Green Space: Dark Skies, a national project, part of the UK Unboxed Festival. Thousands of participants used hand-held lights in conjunction with drones to illuminate the dusk in the four highest mountains of the United Kingdom. The study also explores the Christmas Lights trails staged by the organisation Culture Creative at Leeds Castle and Bedgebury Pinetum in Southern England. Lastly, National Trust property Anglesey Abbey in the East of England is the site of a multi-layered event based on The Lost Words book of spell-songs by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris, which is about animism. These diverse events offer a variety of scenarios in different locations, National Trust properties to mountains.

Two main themes have emerged from the analysis to shape the discussion: designed and undesigned nature. Examples of undesigned nature include the movement of wind altering the effect of acoustics and the contribution of cold temperatures. Organisers and designers discuss the effects of clear skies, birds, bats corridors, badger baffles, full moons, frosty ground on the presence and atmosphere of the events. The draws attention to the focus placed on the sky above the trail, which serves as a larger mirror of the lights below, leading to animistic reflections on dark skies and the reverse gaze. Designers also discuss their sensitivities to the welfare on wildlife. These findings address a gap in our knowledge about the undesigned, natural world as an animistic, active contributor to light installations.

The findings reveal the awareness of lighting designers about animism and their respect for the environment, which is often informed by their childhood reading of seminal fantasy fiction. This in turn leads to constructions of “designed nature,” for example the positioning of installations by water to double spatial effects and defamiliarise environments by changing their dimensions. Other designed forms of nature include soundscapes rich with night calls, rustles and activities that disorientate by suggesting that the darkness is alive with unseen creatures. Finally, the projections of trees and animals, often onto trees and natural surfaces creates a double effect of nightlife that sees and is seen, on occasion by the animals they strive to depict.

Ingold, T. (2006) Rethinking the animate, re-animating thought. Ethnos, 71(1), pp.9-20.Lovell, J. and Griffin, H. (2022) Unfamiliar light: the production of enchantment. Annals of Tourism Research, 92, p.103328.

MacFarlane (2019) Should this tree have the same rights as you. Accessed on 17 April 2023 at 18:40 from https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/nov/02/trees-have-rights-too-...

KeywordsMagical tourism; Enchantment; New animism; Fantasy tourism; Literary Tourism; Light installations; Light trails; Storytelling; Folklore
Year2023
ConferenceAdvances in Hospitality & Tourism Marketing and Management (AHTMM) Conference 2023
Official URLhttp://www.ahtmm.com/conference-proceedings/10th-ahtmm-conference-proceedings-2023/
FunderHEIF internal CCCU funding
Publication process dates
Deposited04 Oct 2023
Permalink -

https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/95yvz/the-night-is-rising-how-magical-stories-and-new-animism-influence-winter-tourism-light-trails

  • 33
    total views
  • 0
    total downloads
  • 4
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as

Related outputs

New animism research: listening and storytelling with non-human persons
Lovell, J. 2024. New animism research: listening and storytelling with non-human persons.
World Heritage Sites, storytelling, the non-human and new animism
Lovell, J. 2023. World Heritage Sites, storytelling, the non-human and new animism.
Fairy tourism: negotiating the production of fantasy geographies and magical storyscapes
Lovell, J. and Sharma, N. 2023. Fairy tourism: negotiating the production of fantasy geographies and magical storyscapes. Tourism Geographies. https://doi.org/10.1080/14616688.2023.2290662
Always the desert: creating affective landscapes in Breaking Bad
Lovell, J. and Fox, K. 2023. Always the desert: creating affective landscapes in Breaking Bad. in: Champion, E., Lee, C., Stadler, J. and Peaslee, R. M. (ed.) Screen Tourism and Affective Landscapes: The Real, the Virtual and the Cinematic Abingdon Routledge. pp. 121-135
Time: Lighting World Heritage
Lovell, J., Hurst, A. and Griffin, H. 2022. Time: Lighting World Heritage.
Pilgrimage as transformation - a symposium to explore contemporary thinking
Lovell, J. 2022. Pilgrimage as transformation - a symposium to explore contemporary thinking. Canterbury Christ Church University 21 - 21 Sep 2022
The dissolution of the monastery: negotiating text in place, entropy, ruins and light installations
Lovell, J. 2022. The dissolution of the monastery: negotiating text in place, entropy, ruins and light installations.
When the story comes to you: affectively negotiating parallel worlds
Lovell, J. 2022. When the story comes to you: affectively negotiating parallel worlds.
Waterscapes, fairies and Philip Pullman
Lovell, J. 2022. Waterscapes, fairies and Philip Pullman.
Opening spatial hinges with mindful writing practice: negotiating Philip Pullman’s secret commonwealth
Lovell, J. 2022. Opening spatial hinges with mindful writing practice: negotiating Philip Pullman’s secret commonwealth. Cultural Geographies. https://doi.org/10.1177/14744740221126988
Literary and film pilgrimage
Oulton, C. and Lovell, J. 2022. Literary and film pilgrimage.
Unfamiliar light: The production of enchantment.
Lovell, J. and Griffin, H. 2022. Unfamiliar light: The production of enchantment. Annals of Tourism Research. 92, p. 103328. https://doi.org/j.annals.2021.103328
Evolving authenticity into the magical realm of fantasy-based third-order simulacra
Lovell, J. 2021. Evolving authenticity into the magical realm of fantasy-based third-order simulacra. in: Sharpley, R. (ed.) Routledge Handbook of the Tourist Experience Abingdon Routledge. pp. 77-88
Extending hot authentication: Imagining fantasy space
Lovell, J. and Thurgill, J. 2021. Extending hot authentication: Imagining fantasy space. Annals of Tourism Research. 87 (103138), pp. 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2020.103138
Symposium: light installations, magic and heritage
Lovell, J. 2020. Symposium: light installations, magic and heritage. Canterbury Christ Church University 14 Jul 2020
Light as enchantment, light show designers as enchanters
Lovell, J. 2020. Light as enchantment, light show designers as enchanters.
Enchantment, light installations and imaginative authentication
Lovell, J. 2020. Enchantment, light installations and imaginative authentication.
How the tourism industry produces enchantment
Lovell, J. 2020. How the tourism industry produces enchantment.
Could it be magic? The light re-enchantment of places
Lovell, J. 2020. Could it be magic? The light re-enchantment of places.
Simulated authenticity: storytelling and mythic space on the hyper-frontier in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and Westworld.
Lovell, J. and Hitchmough, S. 2020. Simulated authenticity: storytelling and mythic space on the hyper-frontier in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and Westworld. Tourist Studies. https://doi.org/10.1177/1468797620937912
Dissolving and transfiguring monasteries through light
Lovell, J. 2019. Dissolving and transfiguring monasteries through light.
The illuminated past: using light installations to interpret world heritage sites’
Lovell, J. 2019. The illuminated past: using light installations to interpret world heritage sites’.
Expanding worlds: place and collaboration in (and after) the ‘text-as-spatial-event’
Thurgill, J. C. and Lovell, J. 2019. Expanding worlds: place and collaboration in (and after) the ‘text-as-spatial-event’ . Literary Geographies. 5 (1), pp. 16-20.
Opening the memory boxes: magically hyperreal authenticity, tourism and the Haida People
Lovell, J. 2019. Opening the memory boxes: magically hyperreal authenticity, tourism and the Haida People. in: Lovell, J. and Hitchmough, S. (ed.) Authenticity in North America Place, Tourism, Heritage, Culture and the Popular Imagination London Routledge. pp. 96-111
Authenticity in North America: place, tourism, heritage, culture and the popular imagination
Lovell, J. Lovell, J. and Hitchmough, S. (ed.) 2019. Authenticity in North America: place, tourism, heritage, culture and the popular imagination. London Routledge.
Fairytale authenticity: historic city tourism, Harry Potter, medievalism and the magical gaze
Lovell, J. 2019. Fairytale authenticity: historic city tourism, Harry Potter, medievalism and the magical gaze. Journal of Heritage Tourism. 14 (5-6), pp. 448-561. https://doi.org/10.1080/1743873X.2019.1588282
Authenticity Collective Conference - introduction
Lovell, J. 2018. Authenticity Collective Conference - introduction.
Looping the loop of authenticity in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and Westworld
Lovell, J. and Hitchmough, S. 2018. Looping the loop of authenticity in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and Westworld.
Magical places
Lovell, J. 2018. Magical places.
Opening the memory boxes: magical realism and the Haida people
Lovell, J. 2017. Opening the memory boxes: magical realism and the Haida people. University of Minnesota Press.
Hyper-staged authenticity on the technological frontier in Westworld’s post-human theme park
Lovell, J. and Hitchmough, S. 2018. Hyper-staged authenticity on the technological frontier in Westworld’s post-human theme park. in: Yeoman, I. and McMahon-Beattie, U. (ed.) Science Fiction, Disruption and Tourism Channel View.
Fairy tale tourism: the architectural projection mapping of magically real and irreal festival lightscapes
Lovell, J. and Griffin, H. 2018. Fairy tale tourism: the architectural projection mapping of magically real and irreal festival lightscapes. Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events. 11 (3), pp. 469-483. https://doi.org/10.1080/19407963.2018.1556674
Visiting Fellow, British Library Eccles Centre of American studies
Lovell, J. 2018. Visiting Fellow, British Library Eccles Centre of American studies. British Library.
An American yell: Buffalo Bill and the Wild West in East Kent
Lovell, J. and Hitchmough, S. 2015. An American yell: Buffalo Bill and the Wild West in East Kent.
Future dreaming – East Kent’s City of Culture bid
Lovell, J. 2016. Future dreaming – East Kent’s City of Culture bid.
Magical realism and the Haida people
Lovell, J. 2017. Magical realism and the Haida people.
Magical realism and the Haida people
Lovell, J. 2017. Magical realism and the Haida people.
Hyperreal light simulacra: performing buildings in motion
Lovell, J. 2018. Hyperreal light simulacra: performing buildings in motion. in: Rickly-Boyd, J. and Vidon, E. (ed.) Authenticity and Tourism: Materialities, Perceptions, Experiences: 24 Emerald.
The role of the desert in Breaking Bad
Fox, K. and Lovell, J. 2015. The role of the desert in Breaking Bad.
A systematic review and meta-analysis of the potential local economic impact of tourism and leisure cycling and the development of an evidence-based market segmentation
Weed, M., Bull, C., Brown, M., Dowse, S., Lovell, J., Mansfield, L. and Wellard, I. 2014. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the potential local economic impact of tourism and leisure cycling and the development of an evidence-based market segmentation. Tourism Review International. 18 (1-2), pp. 37-55. https://doi.org/10.3727/154427214X13990420684482
Authentic and inauthentic places in tourism: from heritage sites to theme parks
Lovell, J. and Bull, C. Lovell, J. and Bull, C. (ed.) 2017. Authentic and inauthentic places in tourism: from heritage sites to theme parks. London Routledge.
The relationship between cycle tourism and sustainable transport in the UK
Weed, M., Bull, C., Brown, M., Dowse, S., Lovell, J., Mansfield, L. and Wellard, I. 2014. The relationship between cycle tourism and sustainable transport in the UK. Tourism Review International. https://doi.org/10.3727/154427214X13990420684644
The postmodern heritage city: From real to fake: Visual methodology
Lovell, J. 2009. The postmodern heritage city: From real to fake: Visual methodology.
The postmodern heritage city: From real to fake
Lovell, J. 2009. The postmodern heritage city: From real to fake.
The timelessness of the postmodern heritage city
Lovell, J. 2009. The timelessness of the postmodern heritage city.
Historic cities: From real to fake
Lovell, J. 2010. Historic cities: From real to fake. in: Lovell, J. and Stuart-Hoyle, M. (ed.) Leisure experiences: Space, place and performance Brighton, UK Leisure Studies Association. pp. 81-108
The impact of hosting major sporting events on local residents: an analysis of the views and perceptions of Canterbury residents in relation to the Tour de France 2007
Bull, C. and Lovell, J. 2007. The impact of hosting major sporting events on local residents: an analysis of the views and perceptions of Canterbury residents in relation to the Tour de France 2007. Journal of Sport & Tourism. 12 (3-4), pp. 229-248. https://doi.org/10.1080/14775080701736973
A systematic review of evidence for the potential of live sites to generate community and public health outcomes
Weed, M., Dowse, S., Chatziefstathiou, D., Lovell, J., Mansfield, L. and Wellard, I. 2010. A systematic review of evidence for the potential of live sites to generate community and public health outcomes. Dover National Health Service.
Post-modern heritage, chivalry, park and ride: Le Tour comes to Canterbury.
Lovell, J. 2008. Post-modern heritage, chivalry, park and ride: Le Tour comes to Canterbury. in: Ali-Knight, J., Robertson, M., Fyall, A. and Ladkin, A. (ed.) International Perspectives of Festivals and Events: Paradigms of Analysis London Elsevier. pp. 265-277
Liberating the heritage city: towards cultural engagement
Stuart-Hoyle, M. and Lovell, J. 2006. Liberating the heritage city: towards cultural engagement. in: Smith, M. and Robinson, M. (ed.) Cultural Tourism in a Changing World: Politics, Participation and (Re)presentation Clevedon Channel View.