University of Oulu

Anna-Maria Walter (2022) Images of the Mountains: Touristic Consumption and Gendered Representations of Landscape and Heritage in Gilgit-Baltistan, Visual Anthropology, 35:3, 225-247, DOI: 10.1080/08949468.2022.2094185

Images of the mountains : touristic consumption and gendered representations of landscape and heritage in Gilgit-Baltistan

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Author: Walter, Anna-Maria1
Organizations: 1Oulu University, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 4.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Informa, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-08-24


Touristic advertisements, development reports and government sources in Pakistan readily use the natural beauty of Gilgit-Baltistan, above all lavish shots of mountain peaks, to promote the country’s hospitality and global appeal. Since the public sphere is full of promotional material for this region, local people have also started posing in front of newly discovered sights for photos. While men often upload these on Facebook and WhatsApp, young women do also take part in outings and photo shoots, but behind a digital veil that does not allow them to advertize their photos so openly. Through visual examples from media both on- and offline, I will show how consumption and engagement with social media feed back into people’s (self-)perception of their natural and cultural environment. Popular representations of the region’s landscape even serve as a form of self-othering: looking at Gilgit-Baltistan’s assets through the eyes of outsiders allows many young people to appreciate things they previously ignored or took for granted, even seeing them as obstacles to development. Moreover, by actively contributing to public discourse, locals reclaim the represented and disseminated imagination of their homeland.

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Series: Visual anthropology
ISSN: 0894-9468
ISSN-E: 1545-5920
ISSN-L: 0894-9468
Volume: 35
Issue: 3
Pages: 225 - 247
DOI: 10.1080/08949468.2022.2094185
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 616 Other humanities
Funding: The author acknowledges support from the ERA.Net Rus Plus program under award number RUS_ST2019-055 and from the Academy of Finland Grant number 3444717 for the consortium CONTOURS: Conservation, Tourism, Remoteness. Older data was collected on the DFG project SO 435/3-1.
Copyright information: © 2022 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.