Mutual images of Poland and Belarus in the travel photo structure

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One of the key aspects of contemporary society is intercultural communication that is important mainly due to the relations with such trends in the development of an open society as the erasure of boundaries, visualization, virtualization, and massification of social life. Self-organized travel as one of the forms of tourism is a combination of social practices that implement interaction of various types of everyday life (one’s own and others’). In various disciplinary fields, including sociology, throughout the twentieth century, everyday life was always in the focus of interdisciplinary research. However, the question of how signs and reality are connected in the daily interactions of the traveler was not considered separately. The article presents the results of an interdisciplinary research based on the analysis of travel representations posted on the tourist Internet forums and on the methods of semiotic and structural analysis to characterize the ways of constructing mutual images of Poland and Belarus. The structure of these visual images is analyzed in several perspectives: new and social-typical values and interpretations; expressive signs; type and genre of representations; their general characteristics and differences; social norms and lifestyle; city and nature; past and present; holidays and weekdays. The study revealed substantial and structural originality of the everyday life images reproduced in travel representations: the image of Belarus presented by Polish travelers is based on various combinations of relations between the signs “countryside”, “simple life”, “preservation of traditions”, “quiet lifestyle’; Belarusian travelers construct visual images of Poland based on the interconnected ideas of “urban lifestyle”, “modern and old city”, “preservation of historical objects”.

About the authors

T V Burak

Belarusian State University

Author for correspondence.
Kalvariyskaya St., 9, Minsk, Belarus, 220004


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