What is RIGHTS UP?

RIGHTS UP is a Horizons 2020 - Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action coordinated by Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (under Grant Agreement No 792489) for the period 2018-2020. The main objectives of the project are: a) To contextualize the role and ambivalence of the tourism industry in post-industrial European cities vis-à-vis changes in the economic structure and b) To understand how the externalities and benefits of the tourism industry are discussed in the local (European) and global public sphere, by following the narratives/discourses related to both the right to the city and the emergence of ‘anti-tourism’ social movements.

Could I collaborate with the RIGHTS UP project?

If you are part of a social movement fighting against the negative outcomes of tourism or you are a member of the tourism industry, and want to provide any information or opinion on this subject, please contact the researcher Dr Alexander Araya Lopez via email:  alexander.arayalopez@unive.it.

The expected results of the RIGHTS UP project are:

  • The construction of a typology of discourses related to the role of the tourism industry and its impact. It is expected that some of these discourses will present a biased/inaccurate view of the ‘anti-tourism’ social movements or will emphasize the contradiction of protesting tourism while profiting from it.
  • The identification of a series of motives, needs and problems at the individual and collective level that exemplify the clash between the (local/European) citizenship and the (global) tourism industry.
  • The documentation of expert views that allows both to contextualize and to deepen the results of the previous two phases, relating them with opinion-formation and decision-making processes in terms of bottom-up governance and policing. 

And finally, the creation of a series of recommendations and solutions to both secure the rights of local populations to dissent, while highlighting the value of these acts for various purposes, including: bottom-up policy implementation, economic growth, environmental sustainability, safeguarding of cultural heritage, among other.

Who are we?

The Marie Curie fellow in this project is Dr Alexander Araya López, a sociologist who obtained his Ph.D. at the Lateinamerika-Institut, Freie Universität Berlin. His doctoral thesis focused on media discourses about graffiti practices in Brazil and Costa Rica. Recently, he was an invited researcher at La Sorbonne Paris 3, Institut des Hautes Etudes de l'Amérique Latine (IHEAL), where he studied the discourses regarding the opposition against Daniel Ortega's government in Nicaragua. He also worked at the Universidad de Costa Rica at the Department of Sociology, where he taught Sociology of Media and Communication.

The supervisor of this project is Dr Francesca Coin, a lecturer in Sociology at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, where she teaches Neoliberal Policies and Global Social Movements. Her research focuses on money, labor and society. She has published extensively on the cultural transformations that shape the evolution of precarious, unpaid, academic and digital labor and on the emotional landscapes and social tensions that characterise the global city. She is the PI of the research project "The nature of money and its social perception in times of crisis" funded by the Humanities and Social Change International Foundation. She is the vice-coordinator of the M.A. program in International Relations at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. She is author of two books - her latest publication is Keep the union at bay. The racial dimensions of anti-union practices in U.S. agriculture and the long fight for migrant farm-labor representation (ECF, 2018). Over the past few years, her work has focused on the social consequences of the European crisis, observing the relationship between social movements and the financial and economic structure.

A crowd of tourists on a bridge in Venezia. Bridges partially blocked are a common complaint among residents, who are dependent on bridges for their daily commute (2018)

As partner university, the Universitat Rovira i Virgili contributes to the RIGHTS UP project with their expertise in the area of geography and tourism studies. The supervisor at this partner university is Dr Antonio Russo, associate professor at the Department of Geography and member of the Research Group 'Territorial Analysis and Tourism Studies'. Dr Russo is an expert in urban geography and planning, with a specific interest for tourism development and sustainability, social and cultural change, and urban politics in the age of mobilities. He is currently principal researcher of the project 'Analysing the role of public policy in managing tourism destinations in the mobilities era (POLITUR)”, funded by the Ministry of Science and Education of Spain. His recent publications include: “Barcelona in common”: a new urban regime for the 21st century tourist city? Journal of Urban Affairs (2017) and Reinventing the local in tourism, Channel View (2016). Dr Russo has worked as consultant for UNESCO, Latin American Development Bank, Council of Europe. He is Coordinator of the Master in Destination Management of URV, where he also lectures in the BA in Tourism and MA in Wine Tourism Innovation, and he is regularly invited as lecturer in postgraduate programmes of the International Labour Organization in Turin and Barcelona.

A banner protesting the campaign “I Amsterdam” located in the former squatting home Vrankijk in central Amsterdam. Now a legalized residence with about 20 people, the center regularly hosts political and cultural activities (2018)