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Stéphane Hueber-Blies and Nicolas Blies

Application + Webdocumentary


TOURIST PROJECT is an international transmedia documentary project that reveals the market-based orchestration, the staging of your own holidays by the biggest industry in the world: the tourism industry. This ‘touristified’ world is now reduced to a mere set, an enchanted space based on the imagination, somewhere between supply and demand. TOURIST PROJECT invites you to discover the other side of this set.
Touristic enchantment falsifies our perception of reality and leaves us in an uncontroversial, ideal world, far from the issues and challenges of our society. The concept of touristic enchantment refers to a market of fools, but a market of willing fools.
On the one hand, tourists must ignore what goes on behind the scenes (which they naturally want to do), in particular the


other, the manager of tourism products must create the illusion of a perfect paradise without ever allowing the customer to see what is really going on. This illusion is the intellectual basis of our argument.
In this amazing staging, we all take the same photos, we all visit the same places, we all read the same guides, meet the same people and take the same routes. Everything is scripted, everything is formatted. Nothing is left to chance. We travel with supervised freedom. Why do we feel different when actually we’re cloning ourselves ad infinitum?  Can we really distinguish between the staging we are being sold and reality? How to make a change?


In order to highlight this enchantment, we decided to increase the number of perspectives through different formats: our personalised webdocumentary of course in order to decode the mechanisms but also a feature-length documentary to observe from the inside a world in transition that is being  ‘touristified’. We will go to Barentsburg in Norway, near the North Pole.
Hired by a Russian company which operates on a coal mine in a lost Norwegian archipelago, two young Ukrainian brothers arrive in Svalbard in the hope of a better life. Near the premise, Viktor and Alexis discover a former Soviet colony of three hundred

people, entirely Russian speaking, poor, cut off from the world and depressed.  Every day, buses full of western, wealthy, detached tourists come from the town on the other side of the island where no coal worker is allowed to go. Alexis has clearly difficulties to adapt to this new life in the Russian village, much more than his little brother. One day, he manages to spend a night on the other side, as a “tourist”. From this moment, Alexis, wants only one thing: take all the risks and migrate to the Norwegian side, even if it means separating from his brother.