Toni Amengual – Mallorca, 1980
Identity is generated from memory, which is made of memories. A memory is a personal narrative resulting from an experience. There are many methods to preserve them from oblivion.
Probably, photography (since its invention) is the most widely used one for this purpose. In this context a photograph becomes an object capable of bringing this lived experience to the present and thus share it. Some other objects posses this great symbolic power; among them, a very particular case, the Souvenir.
As its French name indicates the souvenir is an object that contains a memory, the memory of an experience associated with a touristic trip. Tourism, traveling to a different location different from the usual environment, is characteristic of industrialized societies. Pleasure is the touristic travel goal. In the industrialized society, pleasure is a synonym of an activity without productive intent. The same as the souvenir, a futile object where capitalism and “culture” meet.
The souvenir goal is to generate memory and thus, it creates identity. On the one hand, it contributes to the personal identity of the souvenir purchaser, while on the other hand it contributes to generate a collective identity of the place where it was purchased.
In other words; as we can get an idea of the tour and tastes of a person who likes buying souvenirs in the places he or she visits. We can also get an idea of what a particular place is like through the souvenirs that can be purchased there.
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