Agata Szepe (Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Warsaw)
In my paper I will interpret the way in which a social media group on Israeli tourism to Poland was established and developed. A Facebook group Hufsza be-Warsza, Krakow we-Shar Polin [eng. Holidays in Warsaw, Krakow and the Rest of Poland] was established in 2017. From an informal initiative of its moderator Daniela Signer and her group of friends it became the biggest social media group on Israeli tourism in Poland, comprising about 35 thousand of members. The group is noteworthy at least for two reasons. Firstly, it is a part of a wider, brand-new phenomena of a ‘new type’ of Israeli tourism to Poland, which I call a new Israeli tourism. Although already from the 1990s Poland became popular among Israelis commemorating the Shoah victims, in recent years the Israelis started treating this country as a place of entertainment, relax and shopping. Secondly, because the moderator of the group, Daniela Signer based it on specific socio-philosophical principles of a non-commercial project. The main assumption is that it should be moderated voluntarily and should not favor interests of any company or institution. I will test the case study of the group form two perspective: the perspective of the social science of the Internet and using The Actor-Network Theory (ANT) approach. The first perspective will enable me to point out the possibilities and limitations of interpreting the principles of the group in the context of social movements connected with sharing economy and online collaboration. The second perspective will show how this social media group is tied up with a thick network of relations with human and non-human actors. Tracing the relations, I will flat the global relations to see local connections in the network between Israeli tourists, social media, tourist attractions and infrastructure as well as the tissue of Polish cities.