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Interpreting an Authentic “Sense of Place”

Interpreting an Authentic “Sense of Place”

(p.98) Chapter 3 Interpreting an Authentic “Sense of Place”
American Aloha
Heather A. Diamond
University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines how “authenticity” was mediated through the rhetorical and spatial constructions of the production process leading up to the frenzy of activity at the National Mall for the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival (SFF). More specifically, it considers how the construction of the Hawaiʻi program's “sense of place” made it possible to manipulate space to disrupt the island's tourist tropes as well as contextualize and narrate its multiculturalism. The chapter shows how the production phase of the Hawaiʻi program manifests in the highly visible end products of site design, signage, and the Festival book that create the visual and textual support for performance. It discusses the ways in which the Hawaiʻi program's production phase is caught up in the construction of authenticity through skillful crafting of the SFF over a rhetorical and spatial framework.

Keywords:   authenticity, production process, National Mall, Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Hawaiʻi program, place, multiculturalism, performance

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