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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.

BBC World Service broadcast on slum tourism in Dharavi

An interesting radio broadcast on slum tourism was recently aired by the BBCWorld Service. Its “Business Daily” programme reports on slum tours in Dharavi, India and we hear a short analysis from Dr. Malte Steinbrink on the subject about whether the phenomenon represents aid or exploitation for slum-dwellers.

 

The programme can be download from the BBC World Service website, or you can download the report as an mp3 file directly from here (the part on slum tourism starts at 7.12).

 

BBC News article – Slum tourism: Patronising or social enlightenment?

BBC News has published an article on slum tourism highlighting the ethical debate on slum tourism. While the article holds little new information, it contains a decent summary of the debates. Furthemore it is another example that slum tourism incresasingly gets attention in the mainstream media after a similar article appeared in the UK “Metro” free newspape.

 

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.

Collection of essays (a.o. on slum tourism) wins price and will be released in 2013

Leslie Jameson has won the 2011  Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize for her collection of essays “The Empathy  Exams: Essays on Pain”.  

The press release quotes Robert Polito as he says: “The Empathy Exams explores subjects as diverse as slum tourism, parasites, medical acting, sentimentality, ultra-running, and drug wars through the lens of pain. These essays swirl around the physicality of the body and churn through cultural expectations to find a way to represent pain—and the accompanying impulse of empathy—without distorting them through narrative expression.”

It will be interesting to read how she deals with the subject of slum tourism in her final book. Given that her PhD research deals with poverty and degradation in twentieth century American writing, it could be that this is going to be the focus in her essay on slum tourism as well. Should anyone know more about this, please get in touch!

Sockmob Event/Unseen Tours win Responsible Tourism Awards 2011

Sockmob Events/Unseen Tours have won the Responsible Tourism Awards 2011. Their product is an interesting one that in first instance may not be perceived as slum tourism, but certainly overlaps with it. It involves homeless people showing tourists their vision of the city. As such it appeals to tourists seeking a more ‘real’, ‘authentic’ or ‘exotic’ view of London. Seen in this way it is not too dissimilar from other slum tours. The win of Sockmob Events/UnseenTours shows that slum tours also can be perceived as a form of responsible tourism.

You can find the award ceremony for the Responsible tourism awards at this link: RT awards 2011