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Murder Walks in Ystad

  • Britta Timm Knudsen
  • Anne Marit Waade
Publiceringsår: 2010
Språk: Engelska
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Tourism and Cultural Change
Nummer: 20
Dokumenttyp: Del av eller Kapitel i bok
Förlag: Channel View Publications


With a broad approach it is possible to see the importance of the many parts in the whole, and to grasp the cultural situations that surround reading in combination with travel. Interaction and co-production are of great importance. Fiction influences reality, which in turn influences the fiction, which in turn… and so on. Fiction can function as an optical lens for reality. The difference between fiction and reality creates dynamics. To distinguish between the two worlds is almost impossible – and maybe not the most important task. Literary tourism deals with the staging of people’s experiences, some real, some fictitious.

It is a question of a consumption of the place, often in a playful form: To be somewhere you have never been before, yet to be able to recognize the place, to feel the place and its corporeal qualities. Emotion and emotionality are resources to be affirmed (Bærenholdt 2004, Crouch 1999).

In this study I have tried to give some examples of how fiction in diverse forms has been used in order to create locations and spaces – both with respect to incoming tourists and the local inhabitants. You do not have to come from afar to experience Ystad as exotic – if you accept the fictionalised reading of it.

What happens then with the inhabitants in a town, marketed with imaginary geographies? Do they see it as a potential or as a colonising threat? Probably both, depending upon how strong the attraction is and how it is developed (“what if everyone goes by car?”). Something is due to happen with a village or a city that becomes mediated through the tourist business and the experience industry. Evidently Wallander is used for branding and marketing Ystad – because nowadays every place with some self-respect must find its identity, something significant, and a representative face. You have to have a value on the experience market.

The body is a hazardous term, possible to connect both to the corpse in the murder mystery and the actual body of the tourist, the receiver of sensations and empirical data. The space term is no less complex; it covers the actual place – such as Mariagatan in Ystad – as well as the theoretical relations that occur or are possible to interpret between the actual place and the fictitious events. In the crossroad of body and space the walking tourist embodies the detective, the victim or the murderer and is still someone – or something – else. That something else is the core of the murder walk.


  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
  • Ethnology
  • heritage
  • crime tourism
  • Literary tourism
  • branding
  • authenticity
  • place
  • walks
  • cinematic tourism


  • ISBN: 1-84541-127-7

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