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Tourism and dictatorship: building leisure spaces on the Romanian black sea coast and the Spanish costa del sol, 1960s-1970s

The CEU Campus
Wednesday, February 15, 2017, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, both the Romanian Black Sea Coast and the Spanish Costa del Sol became tourist destination for the foreign tourists in search of sun and recreation. While in Romania tourists arrived via officially controlled channels, such as ONT-Carpathians, in Spain private domestic and, later, foreign tour operators opened the way. But despite the different geographical locations and economic systems, the two coastal regions became cosmopolitan places where foreigners, domestic tourists, and local population mixed in varying degrees. This presentation will delve into this process and examine how interactions between foreign tourists on the one hand and tourist workers and domestic tourists on the other reshaped leisure spaces on both the Romanian Black Sea Coast and the Spanish Costa del Sol in the 1960s and 1970s.

Adelina Stefan is a Humanities Initiative Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at Central European University in Budapest. She holds a PhD in History from the University of Pittsburgh, USA. She currently works on a book project entitled: Vacationing in the Cold War: Foreign Tourists to Socialist Romania and Francoist Spain, 1960s-1970s. This examines how international tourism brought about a bottom-up liberalization in the two dictatorships, as it altered ordinary people’s lifestyles and material culture. Her most recent publication are: “Automobility and the Building of Tourism in Communist Romania, c. 1960-1989” in Colin Divall, Cultural Histories of Sociabilities, Spaces, and Mobilities (London and New York: Routledge, 2015) and “Postcards Transfer across the Iron Curtain: Foreign Tourists and Transcultural Exchanges in Socialist Romania during the 1960s and 1980s“ in the International Journal for History, Culture and Modernity (HCM), special issue on “Photo Transfer in Cold War Europe” (forthcoming 2017).