Worlds of Imagination - Media, Place and Tourism
Talks & Docu “Welcome to the Smiling Coast”

Worlds of Imagination - Media, Place and Tourism

Start date

Wednesday 7 Apr 2021, 19:30

End date

Wednesday 7 Apr 2021, 22:20

Spoken Language

The EUR conference 'Worlds of Imagination: Media, Place and Tourism in Today's Global World' opens with talks about media tourism and the screening of Welcome to the Smiling Coast.

The evening will be hosted by Audilla Vaughn aka Femmetastic and starts with brief speeches by Prof. Dr. Stijn Reijnders (EUR) and Rotterdam film commissioner Saskia Kagchel, followed by a Q&A in which the World of Imagination research team will talk about the interconnections between media, tourism and place.

Media Tourism

More and more people travel to places they know from popular films, TV series, books or other forms of popular culture. For example, the city of Dubrovnik is currently one of Europe's tourist hotspots, a popularity largely due to its “stand-in” as King's Landing from Game of Thrones. It started as a small-scale fan phenomenon, but media tourism has now grown into an industry of millions, with a major impact on the culture and economy of the locations involved. This conference sheds light on the interrelationships between media, tourism and place, with the aim of bringing together different perspectives and approaches. During the Talks & Q&A, our researchers will discuss various examples of media tourism, including from non-Western film cultures, and delve deeper into why media tourism has become so popular worldwide. More information about the congress:

Welcome to the Smiling Coast

Welcome to the Smiling Coast captures the daily struggles of fifteen youngsters moving within the informal economy of the Gambian tourism industry of sun, safari and sex. With this lure of a better future just around the corner, the dangerous ‘back way’ across deserts and high seas to Europe, is always lingering in their minds. Do they eventually try their luck abroad or find their peace at home? Welcome to the Smiling Coast shows the varied and often creative alternative strategies Gambian youngsters employ to secure their livelihood. Capturing their struggles, hopes and fears, this documentary puts a human and positive face on the informal economy that lies behind the glitter of the Smiling Coast. Welcome to the Smiling Coast was made by Bas Ackermann in collaboration with the Gambian media production house State of Mic. And Emiel Martens.


19.30Opening by Audilla Vaughn a.k.a. Femmetastic
19.40Welcome speech by prof. dr. Stijn Reijnders, the principal researcher of the Worlds of the Imagination research project
19.50Speech by Rotterdam film commissioner Saskia Kagchel
20.10Q&A and talks about media tourism with the Worlds of Imagination research team
20:50Introduction of the film by dr. Emiel Martens, researcher at the Worlds of Imagination research project
21.00Closing words by Femmetastic
21.05Screening of Welcome to the Smiling Coast (2016, 72’)
More information

Date: Wednesday 7 April 2021
Talks: 19.30 – 20.00
Film: 21.05 -22.20 hour

Location: Online

Tickets: free. You will be able to attend a livestream of the talks and Q&A and watch the film (free of charge) on Vimeo on Demand. After signing up we will provide you with the link for the live stream and the Vimeo film link.