Enabled by the speed and ease of mobile technologies, and by the ubiquity of camera phone photography, first-person and visual forms of travel narration have become a significant mode of travel writing in the twenty-first century. Such narratives offer an almost limitless (albeit fragile) archive of travel information with a very broad reach. Numerous practices, including simple photo sharing or photo diaries or the serialised “selfie”, locate and show the author-self moving, locating, living, and playing in everyday and extraordinary spaces. This essay argues that “the selfie” is a new mode of travel narrative practice that deserves further attention in terms of how it functions within the travel writing genre. In our analysis, we return to long-standing debates over conventional definitions of “tourist” and “traveller” (Thompson 2011; Youngs 2013) and we engage in post-colonial and trauma scholarship as well as theories of life writing to discuss the ANZAC Cove selfie as it illuminates some of the complex issues and contexts that surround and characterise the selfie as travel writing.
- dark tourism
- travel writing