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New book on slum tourism out now! Touring Poverty by Bianca Freire-Medeiros

 

Yesterday a new book on slum tourism by one of the leading scholars of the subject, Bianca Freire-Medeiros was published. The book called “Touring Poverty” focuses on tourism in Rocinha, the most famous slum tourism destination in Latin America. It is a striking account and certainly a worthy read. You can find more information in the press release below

 

Touring Poverty (Routledge Advances in Sociology)

http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415596541/

 

Touring Poverty addresses a highly controversial practice: the transformation of impoverished neighborhoods into valued attractions for international tourists. In the megacities of the global South, selected and idealized aspects of poverty are being turned into a tourist commodity for consumption.

The book takes the reader on a journey through Rocinha, a neighbourhood in Rio de Janeiro which is advertised as “the largest favela in Latin America.” Bianca Freire-Medeiros presents interviews with tour operators, guides, tourists and dwellers to explore the vital questions raised by this kind of tourism. How and why do diverse social actors and institutions orchestrate, perform and consume touristic poverty? In the context of globalization and neoliberalism, what are the politics of selling and buying the social experience of cities, cultures and peoples?

With a full and sensitive exploration of the ethical debates surrounding the ‘saleof emotions’ elicited by the fi rst-hand contemplation of poverty, Touring Poverty is an innovative book that provokes the reader to think about the role played by tourism—and our role as tourists—within a context of growing poverty. It will be of interest to students of sociology, anthropology, ethnography and methodology, urban studies, tourism studies, mobility studies, development studies, politics and international relations.

Bianca Freire-Medeiros is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the Center for Research and Documentation on Brazilian Contemporary History (CPDOC) at the Getulio Vargas Foundation in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She was a Research Fellow at the Center for Mobilities Research (CeMoRe) at Lancaster University.

PREFACE by Licia do Prado Valladares (Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Lille 1 – France and Associate Researcher at IESP in Rio de Janeiro – Brazil)


Slum Tourism: Developments in a Young Field of Interdisciplinary Tourism Research – Free download

A recent article by Fabian Frenzel and Ko Koens titled “Slum Tourism: Developments in a Young Field of Interdisciplinary Tourism Research” can now be downloaded for free from the publisher’s website. It provides a short overview of current central themes in the literature on the subject and sets out a short research agenda. As such it is both a useful introduction for researchers that are new to the subject, as well as those that want to reacquaint themselves with subject to do new research in the future.

It is not certain how long this articel will remain open access, so it may be useful to download it soon!

Abstract

This paper introduces the Special Issue on slum tourism with a reflection on the state of the art on this new area of tourism research. After a review of the literature we discuss the breadth of research that was presented at the conference ‘Destination Slum’, the first international conference on slum tourism. Identifying various dimensions, as well as similarities and differences, in slum tourism in different parts of the world, we contest that slum tourism has evolved from being practised at only a limited number of places into a truly global phenomenon which now is performed on five continents. Equally the variety of services and ways in which tourists visit the slums has increased.

The widening scope and diversity of slum tourism is clearly reflected in the variety of papers presented at the conference and in this Special Issue. Whilst academic discussion on the theme is evolving rapidly, slum tourism is still a relatively young area of research. Most papers at the conference and, indeed, most slum tourism research as a whole appears to remain focused on understanding issues of representation, often concentrating on a reflection of slum tourists rather than tourism. Aspects, such as the position of local people, remain underexposed as well as empirical work on the actual practice of slum tourism. To address these issues, we set out a research agenda in the final part of the article with potential avenues for future research to further the knowledge on slum tourism.

Frenzel, F. & Koens, K. (2012) Slum Tourism: Developments in a Young Field of Interdisciplinary Tourism Research. Tourism Geographies, 14 (2), p.pp.1–18.

Urban Poverty, Spatial Representation and Mobility: Touring a Slum in Mexico

While slum tourism generally is not associated with Central America, Eveline Duerr describes in her article Urban Poverty, Spatial Representation and Mobility: Touring a Slum in Mexico how in Mazatlán, Mexico a multidenominational church offers regular tours to the city’s garbage dump. She looks at different modes of (im)mobiilties and the implications this has for people and places and describesteh ambigious effects of integrating marginalised places into the urban representation.

Two new articles on slum tourism in India

The popularity of slum tourism in academic journals continues to increase.Here are two new ones:

An article titled Touristic mobilities in India’s slum spaces by Anya Diekmann and Kevin Hannamwas recently published in Annals of Tourism Research.They examine walking tour experiences of tourists doing slum tours in India to examine representational and non-representational theories of social lifes

The ethics of slum tourism in India are revisited by Deepak Chhabra and Akshat Chowdhury in their article titled Slum Tourism: Ethical or Voyeuristic? They note how slum tourism constitutes complex production process strives to provide both meaningful and profitable tourist gazes, although heavy traces of voyeurism can be found.

Journal article: Responsible Slum Tourism, Egyptian Experiences

A new article on slum tourism has been published in ‘Annals of Tourism Research‘. It is titled ‘Responsible slum tourism: Egyptian Experience‘ and was written by dr. Moustafa A. Mekawy. This is one of the first publications dealing with the concept of slum tourism in an Egyptian context and therefore should prove an interesting read.

Abstract

This paper aims to evaluate stakeholders’ views on the potential role that slum tourism and its associated products can play in enhancing living conditions in slums in Egypt. Empirical results were obtained using two quantitative surveys: one to investigate dwellers’ perceptions and a second to select appropriate pro-poor products based on stakeholders’ preferences. Findings show that inhabitants have positive attitudes toward the possibility of benefiting from slum tourism, but they differed in their ranking of the appropriateness of related pro-poor products. Based on findings, authorities should develop appropriate slum tourism products and typologies, as a planning threshold, to enhance living conditions of dwellers. A useful planning way of drawing ties between slum types and typologies is presented.

The article can be found at the website of Annals of Tourism Research

Discount Code for Slum Tourism Book

As mentioned in the previous post a new book slum tourism has recently been published with Routledge Pubilications. We are happy to announce that we can offer a 20% discount* on the  book to followers of slumtourism.net.

To order the copy with the discount code, simply quote SLUMTOUR12 when placing your order online.

Alternatively, you can print the Slum Tourism flyer (pdf, 1mb in size) and order the book by post.

*Discount code valid till 31/07/2012

 

New Book on Slum Tourism

Last week a new book on slum tourism was published by Routledge Publications. Edited by Fabian Frenzel, Ko Koens and Malte Steinbrink, it contains both theoretically oriented papers papers as well as more practical case study examples of slum tourism of seven different countries on four continent. In combination with the special issue of Tourism Geographies on slum tourism that was discussed earlier on slumtourism.net , the book provides a comprehensive overview of the current empirical, practical and theoretical knowledge on the subject.

Within the book a critical review of issues associated with slum tourism is provided, asking why slums are visited, whether they should be visited, how they are represented, who benefits and in what way? As such the work promises to offers new insights to tourism’s role in poverty alleviation and urban regeneration, power relations in contact zones and tourism’s cultural and political implications.

 

 

 

CONTENTS:

1. Slum Tourism – A New Trend in Tourism?

Part 1: Situating Slum Tourism

2. Wanting to Live with Common People? The Literary Evolution of Slumming

3. Beyond ‘Othering’ the Political Roots of Slum-Tourism

4. Slum Tourism: For the Poor by the Poor

5. Competition, Cooperation and Collaboration: Business Relations and Power in Township Tourism

Part 2: Representation of Poverty

6. ‘A Forgotten Place to Remember: Reflections on the Attempt to Turn a Favela into a Museum’

7. Tourism of Poverty: The Value of Being Poor in the Non-Governmental Order

8. Negotiating Poverty: The Interplay Between Dharavi’s Production and Consumption as a Tourist Destination

9. Reading the Bangkok Slum

Part 3: Slum Tourism and Empowerment

10. Favela Tourism: Listening to Local Voices

11. Slum Tourism and Inclusive Urban Development: Reflections on China

12. Poverty Tourism as Advocacy: A Case in Bangkok

13. Curatorial Interventions in Township Tours: Two Trajectories Conclusion

14. Keep on Slumming?

 

Special Issue “Tourism Geographies” on Slum Tourism

The first ever special issue on Slum Tourism in an Academic Journal will soon be out. Volume 14  issue 2 of  ”Tourism Geographies” will be titled ”Global Perspectives on Slum Tourism” and is completely dedicated to the subject. It contains journal articles on the history of slum tourism, the current state of research in the field, the way it is represented and consumed as well as the ethical debates that continue to surround it. As a whole this is a very welcome addition to the little academic literature that is currently available and we would like to thank “Tourism Geographies” for taking this step to increase the knowledge on the subject.

Although the printed version of the special issue will not be out until May  2012, the articles can already be found and downloaded online. Although all articles will receive a separate post at a later time, below an overview and links to all the articles can be found below.

Slum Tourism: Developments in a Young Field of Interdisciplinary Tourism Research
Fabian Frenzel & Ko Koens
Pages: 1-18
DOI: 10.1080/14616688.2012.633222

‘We did the Slum!’ – Urban Poverty Tourism in Historical Perspective
Malte Steinbrink
Pages: 1-22
DOI: 10.1080/14616688.2012.633216

Poor but Happy: Volunteer Tourists’ Encounters with Poverty
Émilie Crossley
Pages: 1-19
DOI: 10.1080/14616688.2011.611165

Slum Tourism: Representing and Interpreting ‘Reality’ in Dharavi, Mumbai
Peter Dyson
Pages: 1-21
DOI: 10.1080/14616688.2011.609900

Informal Urbanism and the Taste for Slums
Kim Dovey & Ross King
Pages: 1-19
DOI: 10.1080/14616688.2011.613944

Mobile Imaginaries, Portable Signs: Global Consumption and Representations of Slum Life
Uli Linke
Pages: 1-26
DOI: 10.1080/14616688.2012.633218

Glimpses of Another World: The Favela as a Tourist Attraction
Thomas Frisch
Pages: 1-19
DOI: 10.1080/14616688.2011.609999

Encounters over Garbage: Tourists and Lifestyle Migrants in Mexico
Eveline Dürr
Pages: 1-17
DOI: 10.1080/14616688.2012.633217

A review of “Tourism and Poverty”
Cristina Jönsson
Pages: 1-3
DOI: 10.1080/14616688.2012.633221

Update: The printed version of the special issue is out now.

Poverty Tourism and the Problem of Consent

In an earlier post I discussed a paper written by Evan Selinger, Kevin Outterson and Kyle Powys Whyte that was published by the Boston University of Law. The authors have published another paper on pvoerty tourism, this time focusing on the ethical question of poverty tourism and the difficulties surrounding consent.

They discuss whether it is morally permissible for financially privileged tourists to visit places for the purpose of experiencing where poor people live, work, and play? They discuss some of the pros and cons of poverty and slum tourism and conclude that tourists should only participate in poverty tours if there is a well-established collaborative and consensual process in place, akin to a “fair trade” process.  The findings are commendable and provide an opportunity for discussing how to establish what is fair and how often divided communities can benefit. Unfortunately they do not enter this discussion nor how tourists should be able to identify such fair trade processes beyond the establishment of fair-trade poverty tours.

The paper can be downloaded from the homepage of the school of law at Boston University

Selinger, E., Outterson, K. & Powys Whyte, K. (2011) Poverty Tourism and the Problem of Consent. Boston, Boston University School of Law.

Poverty tourism, justice and policy

Evan Selinger, Kevin Outterson and Kyle Powys Whyte published a paper last month titled “poverty tourism, justice and policy” in which they discuss whether poverty tourism should be subject to specific policy constraints based on moral grounds.

They look at this matter through favela tours in Rocinha, Brazil and garbage dump tours in Mazatlan, Mexico. In their conclusion they  argue that slum or poverty tours are a result of complex social relationships that require individual attention  and policy research.

The paper can be downloaded from the homepage of the school of law at Boston University and is set to be published in a future edition of “Public Integrity

Selinger, E., Outterson, K. & Powys Whyte, K. (2011) Poverty Tourism, Justice and Policy. Boston, Boston University School of Law.