Touring Katutura – New Publication on township tourism in Namibia

A new study on township tourism in Namibia has been published by a team of researchers from Osnabrück University including Malte Steinbrink, Michael Buning, Martin Legant, Berenike Schauwinhold and Tore Süßenguth.

Guided sightseeing tours of the former township of Katutura have been offered in Windhoek since the mid-1990s. City tourism in the Namibian capital had thus become, at quite an early point in time, part of the trend towards utilising poor urban areas for purposes of tourism – a trend that set in at the beginning of the same decade. Frequently referred to as “slum tourism” or “poverty tourism”, the phenomenon of guided tours around places of poverty has not only been causing some media sensation and much public outrage since its emergence; in the past few years, it has developed into a vital field of scientific research, too. “Global Slumming” provides the grounds for a rethinking of the relationship between poverty and tourism in world society. This book is the outcome of a study project of the Institute of Geography at the School of Cultural Studies and Social Science of the University of Osnabrueck, Germany. It represents the first empirical case study on township tourism in Namibia.

It focuses on four aspects: 1. Emergence, development and (market) structure of township tourism in Windhoek 2. Expectations/imaginations, representations as well as perceptions of the township and its inhabitants from the tourist’s perspective 3. Perception and assessment of township tourism from the residents’ perspective 4. Local economic effects and the poverty-alleviating impact of township tourism The aim is to make an empirical contribution to the discussion around the tourism-poverty nexus and to an understanding of the global phenomenon of urban poverty tourism.

Free download of the study from here:

https://publishup.uni-potsdam.de/frontdoor/index/index/docId/9591

CfP AAG 2017

CfP Association of American Geographers

Boston 5th to 9th April 2017

The complex geographies of inequality in contemporary slum tourism

rocinha klein

The visitation of areas of urban poverty is a growing phenomenon in global tourism (Burgold & Rolfes, 2013; Dürr & Jaffe, 2012; Freire-Medeiros, 2013; Frenzel, Koens, Steinbrink, & Rogerson, 2015). While it can be considered a standard tourism practise in some destinations, it remains a deeply controversial form of tourism that is greeted with much suspicion and scepticism (Freire-Medeiros, 2009). In the emerging research field of slum tourism, the practices are no longer only seen as a specific niche of tourism, but as empirical phenomena that bridge a number of interdisciplinary concerns, ranging from international development, political activism, mobility studies to urban regeneration (Frenzel, 2016).

 

Slum tourism is sometimes cast as a laboratory where the relationships and interactions between the global North and South appear as micro-sociological encounters framed by the apparent concern over inequality. Beyond questioning the ways in which participants shape the encounters in slum tourism, structural implications and conditions come to the fore. Thus spatial inequality influences opportunities and hinders governance solutions to manage slum tourism operations (Koens and Thomas, 2016). Slum tourism is found to be embedded into post-colonial patterns of discourse, in which ‘North’ and ‘South’ are specifically reproduced in practices of ‘Othering’ (Steinbrink, 2012) . Evidence has been found for the use of slum tourism in urban development (Frenzel, 2014; Steinbrink, 2014) and more widely in the commodification of global care and humanitarian regimes (Becklake, 2014; Holst, 2015). Research has also pointed to the ethical implications of aestheticizing poverty in humanitarian aid performances and the troubles of on-the-ground political engagement in a seemingly post-ideological era (Holst 2016).

 

More recently a geographical shift has been observed regarding the occurrence of slum tourism. No longer a phenomenon restricted to the Global South, slum tourism now appears increasingly in the global North. Refugee camps such as Calais in the north of France have received high numbers of visitors who engage in charitable action and political interventions. Homeless tent cities have become the subject of a concerned tourist gaze in the several cities of the global north (Burgold, 2014). A broad range of stigmatised neighbourhoods in cities of the global North today show up on tourist maps as visitors venture to ‘off the beaten track’ areas. The resurfacing of slum tourism to the global North furthers reinforces the need to get a deeper, critical understanding of this global phenomena.

 

Mobility patterns of slum tourists also destabilise notions of what it means to be a tourist, as migrants from the Global North increasingly enter areas of urban poverty in the South beyond temporal leisurely visits, but as low level entry points into cities they intent to make their (temporal) home. Such new phenomena destabilise strict post-colonial framings of slum tourism, pointing to highly complex geographies of inequality.

 

In this session we aim to bring together research that casts the recent developments in slum tourism research. We aim specifically in advancing geographical research while retaining a broad interdisciplinary outlook.

 

Please sent your abstract or expressions of interest of now more than 300 words to Tore E.H.M Holst (tehh (at) ruc.dk) and Thomas Frisch (Thomas.Frisch (at) wiso.uni-hamburg.de) by October 15th 2016

 

References

 

Becklake, S. (2014). NGOs and the making of “development tourism destinations.” Zeitschrift Für Tourismuswissenschaft, 6(2), 223–243.

Burgold, J. (2014). Slumming in the Global North. Zeitschrift Für Tourismuswissenschaft, 6(2), 273–280.

Burgold, J., & Rolfes, M. (2013). Of voyeuristic safari tours and responsible tourism with educational value: Observing moral communication in slum and township tourism in Cape Town and Mumbai. DIE ERDE – Journal of the Geographical Society of Berlin, 144(2), 161–174.

Dürr, E., & Jaffe, R. (2012). Theorizing Slum Tourism: Performing, Negotiating and Transforming Inequality. European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies Revista Europea de Estudios Latinoamericanos Y Del Caribe, 0(93), 113–123

Freire-Medeiros, B. (2009). The favela and its touristic transits. Geoforum, 40(4), 580–588.

Freire-Medeiros, B. (2013). Touring Poverty. New York N.Y.: Routledge.

Frenzel, F. (2014). Slum Tourism and Urban Regeneration: Touring Inner Johannesburg. Urban Forum, 25(4), 431–447.

Frenzel, F. (2016). Slumming it: the tourist valorization of urban poverty. London: Zed Books.

Frenzel, F., Koens, K., Steinbrink, M., & Rogerson, C. M. (2015). Slum Tourism State of the Art. Tourism Review International, 18(2), 237–252.

Holst, T. (2015). Touring the Demolished Slum? Slum Tourism in the Face of Delhi’s Gentrification. Tourism Review International, 18(4), 283–294.

Steinbrink, M. (2012). We did the slum! Reflections on Urban Poverty Tourism from a Historical Perspective. Tourism Geographies, 14(2), forthcoming.

Steinbrink, M. (2014). Festifavelisation: mega-events, slums and strategic city-staging – the example of Rio de Janeiro. DIE ERDE – Journal of the Geographical Society of Berlin, 144(2), 129–145.

From Stigma to Brand: Conference on Slum Tourism in 2017

From Stigma to Brand:
Commodifying and Aestheticizing Urban Poverty and Violence

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, February 16-18, 2017

Call for Papers

Convenors:

Prof. Dr. Eveline Dürr (LMU Munich, Germany)
Prof. Dr. Rivke Jaffe (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Prof. Dr. Gareth Jones (London School of Economics and Politics, UK)

This conference investigates the motives, processes and effects of the commodification and global representation of urban poverty and violence. Cities have often hidden from view those urban areas and populations stigmatized as poor, dirty and dangerous. However, a growing range of actors actively seek to highlight the existence and appeal of “ghettos”, “slums” and “no-go areas”, in attempts to attract visitors, investors, cultural producers, media and civil society organisations. In cities across the world, processes of place-making and place-marketing increasingly resignify urban poverty and violence to indicate authenticity and creativity. From “slum tourism” to “favela chic” parties and “ghetto fabulous” fashion, these economic and representational practices often approach urban deprivation as a viable brand rather than a mark of shame.

The conference explores how urban misery is transformed into a consumable product. It seeks to understand how the commodification and aestheticization of violent, impoverished urban spaces and their residents affects urban imaginaries, the built environment, local economies and social relations.

What are the consequences for cities and their residents when poverty and violence are turned into fashionable consumer experiences? How is urban space transformed by these processes and how are social relationships reconfigured in these encounters? Who actually benefits when social inequality becomes part of the city’s spatial perception and place promotion?
We welcome papers from a range of disciplinary perspectives including anthropology, geography, sociology, and urban studies.

Keynote speakers:

  • Lisa Ann Richey (Roskilde University)
  • Kevin Fox Gotham (Tulane University)

more to be confirmed.

• Please submit an abstract for a paper presentation including a title and your affiliation to: stigma2brand@ethnologie.lmu.de
Deadline for abstract submission is October 10, 2016
• Please note that limited financial support for registered PhD students is available. Please indicate in your abstract submission if you wish to apply.

 

Slumming It: The Tourist Valorisation of Urban Poverty

NEW BOOK Announcement

slumming it title page

Slumming It: The tourist Valorization of Urban Poverty
Zed Books London, June 2016
Paperback: £16.99
ISBN: 9781783604432

In the provocative Slumming It, Fabian Frenzel explores the intriguing motivations and consequences of this form of tourism with a truly accessible, open-minded approach. He examines the strange allure that slums have for wealthier visitors, and he investigates the changes this curious attraction has led to on both a small and large scale: from gentrification and urban policy reform to the organization of international development and poverty alleviation efforts. Using case studies throughout the global south—including Rio de Janeiro, Bangkok, and cities in South Africa, Kenya, and India—Frenzel provides a comprehensive study of slum tourism and a controversial take on the potentially positive impact it may have on these struggling communities in the future.

The book is based on a research project funded by the European Union Marie Curie Fellowship scheme. More publications and information can be found on the project website.

Read an extract from the book on CityMetric

Reviews:
Bianca Freire-Medeiros, author of Touring Poverty
“Based on years of embedded fieldwork, Frenzel’s book cuts through the powerful mythology surrounding the so-called slums, townships, and favelas as tourist attractions to construct a revelatory narrative of the relationship between poverty and tourism, exploitation and political activism.”

John Hutnyk, author of The Rumour of Calcutta
“The reality of the slum is much fought over in commentary. Frenzel cuts through the confusion to evaluate the valorisation of poverty in tourism. With examples ranging across India, Brazil, Europe and South Africa, Frenzel offers an analysis, both comparative and detailed, that is a theoretically-informed advance on current scholarship.”

Manfred Rolfes, University of Potsdam
“Frenzel has written a very inspiring book, that is full of ideas and also deeply political. He opens up many new perspectives on slum tourism, and highlights its local and global dimensions.”

Eveline Dürr, LMU Munich
“Rich empirical evidence, expertly interrogated by notions of place valorisation, make this a fascinating piece of cutting-edge research on a fast emerging field of study. It makes a significant contribution to the available literature and is key reading for professionals and scholars alike.”

Christian M. Rogerson, University of Johannesburg
“A bold and carefully crafted analysis of slums and slum tourism. Theoretically grounded in the concepts of tourist valorization and local value regimes, it offers a nuanced and state of the art understanding of the nexus of tourism, slums and poverty.”

Imogen Tyler, author of Revolting Subjects
“This provocative and beautifully written study of slum tourism will transform your assumptions about the politics of slumming it. Drawing on rich ethnographic data, Frenzel carefully considers the activist potential of tourism to enact a relational politics of solidarity and care.”

Township Tourism as responsible tourism? Findings from Cape Town

TheJournal of Sustainable Tourism development of small tourism businesses has been seen by policy-makers as a valuable means of alleviating poverty in South African townships.  This perspective has  also been endorsed by several “responsible” tourism businesses and academics.

After close investigation of township tourism practices and  micro-entrepreneurship in South Africa, Ko Koens and Rhodri Thomas, however, argue that this may not necessarily be the case. In their article “You know that’s a rip-off”: policies and practices surrounding micro-enterprises and poverty alleviation in South African township tourism, they identified several barriers that prevent township residents from successfully developing their businesses and sharing in the material gains available through tourism, even when visitor numbers are significant.

These findings suggests a need to critically reconsider current policies in favour of greater regulation and alternative forms of investment as well as a need to reassess the value of advocating responsible tourism to consumers who are often unable to gain full understanding of the context they visit or the implications of their choices.

For a short time you can download the article on the website of the Journal of Sustainable  Tourism for free.

Koens, K. & Thomas, R. (2016) ‘You know that’s a rip-off’: policies and practices surrounding micro-enterprises and poverty alleviation in South African township tourism. Journal of Sustainable Tourism.

 

WLO names Durban field school after Douglas Ribeiro da Silva

The World Leisure Organisation has decided to dedicate their 2016 summer school to the memory of tourism researcher Douglas Ribeiro da Silva. Douglas’ research focused on community perceptions of favela tourism in Paraisopolis, Sao Paolo and he presented his findings at the 2nd Slum tourism network conference in May 2014 in Potsdam, Germany.

Douglas died in an accident while attending the WLO Congress in 2014 in Mobile, Alabamba. In his memory the WLO has named its next congress in Durban, South Africa as ‘Douglas Ribeiro da Silva Field School’.

The WLO would like to offer a tribute to one of the students who participated in the last WLO Congress. Unfortunately, Douglas is no longer with us, but he left part of his legacy on the way he lived. In spite of all adversities in his life, he chose education and knowledge as the path to be followed in order to change society, to empower and emancipate people. His life was an inspirational example on how to overcome difficulties and discrimination with knowledge. We would like to keep his spirit alive by naming the Durban field school after him.

Many researchers in the slum tourism network have expressed their gratidute to the WLO for this tribute to Douglas’ memory.

Second Part of Themed Issue Slum Tourism Out

The second part of the themed issues of the jounral Tourism Review International has been published. It features three papers on slum tourism, considering tourism in Vidigal, Rio de Janeiro, as well as in Kibera, Nairobi and Dharavi in Mumbai.

SCAN0099SCAN0100

Ecological Slums? Initial Notes on Tourism and Ecology in Brazilian Favelas

Camila Maria Dos Santos Moraes
Tourism and Heritage Department, Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
CPDOC/FGV-RJ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Key words: Favela; Ecology; Tourism

“Breaking the Silence”: Local Perceptions of Slum Tourism in Dharavi
Nieck Slikker* and Ko Koens†‡
*International Tourism Management, Stenden University of Applied Sciences, Leeuwarden, Netherlands
†Academy of Hotel and Facility Management, NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences, Breda, Netherlands
‡School of Tourism and Hospitality, Faculty of Management, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa

Key words: Slum tourism; Dharavi; Local perceptions; Resident perspective; Tourism ethics

Making Slums Into Attractions: The Role of Tour Guiding in the Slum Tourism Development in Kibera and Dharavi
Fabian Frenzel* and Stephanie Blakeman†

*School of Management, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
†Department of Culture and Global Studies, Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark

Key words: Slum tourism; Tour guiding; Attraction making; Organizational structures; Social ties; Intimacy

The abstracts of the three paper can be found here.

The papers were originally presented at the second slum tourism network conference in Potsdam in May 2014. Together with the first part of this themed issue and an earlier special issue in Zeitschrift für Tourismuswissenschaft, they form a series of significant contributions to the field.

 

New Research Published on Slum Tourism Websites

Donatella Privitera recently published an article “Tourist Valorisation of Urban Poverty: an Empirical Study on the Web” on Urban Forum journal (Springer). The paper evaluates tour whole sales websites to analyse different types of strategic choices. The websites are evaluated using an extended Model of Internet Commerce Adoption (eMICA) methodological approach that draws on the evolutionary development of electronic commerce. Through the results of the study, it is possible to gain knowledge of the slum e-tourism.

Privitera D. (2015), Tourist Valorisation of Urban Poverty: an Empirical Study on the Web
Urban Forum, 30 June, on line, pp.1-18.
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12132-015-9259-3

Slum Tourism Themed Issue 2015

After the second Slum Tourism Network conference in Potsdam in May 2014 several of the papers have now been published in a themed issue in the journal Tourism Review International Volume 18, Number 4. The second part of the themed issue will be published in summer 2015.

slum tourism special issue

Here is the table of content of Part 1. Find the abstracts here.

 

Tourism Review International

THEMED ISSUE
SLUM TOURISM—PART 1

Slum Tourism: State of the Art 237
Fabian Frenzel, Ko Koens, Malte Steinbrink, and Christian M. Rogerson

Smart Tourism Investment: Planning Pathways to Break the Poverty Cycle 253
Moustafa A. Mekawy

Reimagining the Geography of the Favelas: Pacification, Tourism, and Transformation in Complexo Do Alemão, Rio de Janeiro 269
Emily LeBaron

Touring the Demolished Slum? Slum Tourism in the Face of Delhi’s Gentrification 283
Tore Holst

“So, Child Protection, I’ll Make a Quick Point of it Now”: Broadening the Notion of Child Abuse in Volunteering Vacations in Siem Reap, Cambodia 295
P. Jane Reas

 

Prior to this themed issue a special issue in the German Zeitschrift für Tourismuswissenschaft was published in late 2014 with several papers from the conference.