Musical extractivism and the commercial after-life of San Juan's (PR) La Perla and Kingston's (JM) Fleet Street

Ofer Gazit, Elisa Bruttomesso

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter explores the influence of exceptional online visibility on locations in which Caribbean music videos have been shot, and the implications of such visibility to tourism, music production, and Caribbean colonial legacies. The dramatic impact of digitization and streaming services have globalized local sites of urban poverty in the Caribbean, making them visible to unprecedented number of viewers/listeners around the world, sometimes turning them into tourist destinations. While the impact on music on Caribbean tourism has been the subject of several recent studies, the cost, benefit, and lasting impact of such exceptional visibility are little understood. Grounded in short-term ethnography in San Juan’s (PR) La Perla neighbourhood and Kingston’s (JM) Fleet Street, as well as interviews with residents and online media analysis, we examine the lasting impact of videos such as Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” and Koffee’s “Toast” on the locales in which they were filmed. We argue that disproportionate financial gains to data mining companies like YouTube and Spotify as compared to musical producers and locales require a rethinking of the obligations of big tech to the cultural places that generate so much of their capital.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAmbiance, Tourism and the City
EditorsIñigo Sánchez-Fuarros, Daniel Paiva, Daniel Malet
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781003207207
ISBN (Print)9781032074979
StatePublished - 2023


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