Looking at Asia and the Asian Diaspora as a geopolitical post-colonial space, this paper aims to examine the role of travel and tourism as a sign of modernity and how it influenced and reconstruct the use of existing spatial gender categorization in cultural practices. Through the understanding of tradition as a fluid bodily knowledge in contemporary cultural political economics, this paper questions the intervention and innovation of the female bodies in Asian global tourism and indigenous Diaspora subjects within globalization. Based on the novel Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert, to mediate the analysis of the effect on space in cultural modernity, in the construction of otherness, which provokes the understanding of other culture as 'non-modern' yet reiterating tourism as one of the possible mechanism to mediate this encounter in bringing the 'un-modern' cultural practices to the world of modernity. This paper seeks to discuss the invisibility and visibility of female bodies in tourism space and cultural imagination by using specific examples of various events mentioned in the book that convey contradictory memories and values to local citizens and, in the meanwhile, the space and events are re-appropriated again for the purpose of globalized concern.
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Diyah Larasati is Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts & Dance at the University of Minnesota. She explores in her advocacy/activist project, ‘Choreographing History’ the archiving of female dancing bodies in colonial reports and how moral codes stigmatize racialized, colonized bodies. She collaborates with Indonesian choreographer Setyastuti, and is supported by grants, including the Consortium Study of the Asias (2009), Office of International Programs (2008), the McKnight Travel Grant (2007), and Center for History and Political Ethic/PUSDEP Sanatadharma Indonesia, to create performances based on the oral history of Indonesian female dancers who are the survivors of the horrible genocide.