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.
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?
The 17th World Congress of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences will host a session called: “Commodifying Urban Poverty, Social Exclusion, and Marginalisation: Spatial and Social Consequences”. The conference will be held in Manchester 5-10 August 2013, but the organisation is already asking for paper proposals (the deadline is 20 July 2011). This seems a good opportunity to present on slum and poverty tourism to a wider audience. More information can be found below:
CALL FOR PAPERS: Commodifying Urban Poverty, Social Exclusion, and Marginalisation: Spatial and Social Consequences
IUAES, Manchester 5-10 August 2013
Convenors: Eveline Dürr and Rivke Jaffe
This panel seeks to investigate the effects of increasing commodification and marketable global representations of the urban poor and their particular spaces. While many cities are eager to “clean” their central spaces and move pavement dwellers, beggars, street children and other “undesirable” citizens out in order to present a favourable image to visitors and potential investors, others draw attention to marginalisation, poverty and social exclusion and market no-go areas, gang life, drug districts, slums and other poverty-ridden urban areas as tourist destinations. While these socio-spaces were previously banned from the city’s representation, they are now tentatively included as integral parts of the urban environment. Increasingly, tourists seem to be keen to move into these spaces, yet in a controlled and safe way. The consequences of these quickly expanding, globally prevalent urban practices are manifold yet have hardly been investigated empirically, much less in a comparative perspective. This panel aims to examine the ways tourism intersects with spaces of urban misery and their representation. It seeks to understand how the commodification and increasing circulation of representations of the poor and their spaces affects city imaginaries, urban space, local economies and social relations. By emphasizing actors and socio-spatial dimensions, this panel includes a performative understanding of these practices and thus goes beyond the analysis of representation strategies. What are the consequences for cities and their dwellers when poverty and decay are turned into fashionable tourist experiences? How are cities transformed by these processes and how are social relationships reconfigured in these new spaces of encounter? Who actually benefits when social inequality becomes part of the city’s spatial perception and place promotion? Comparative and reflective empirical research contributes to the understanding and analysis of these fairly recent urban challenges. Papers addressing these aspects are welcome.
Please email your abstract (ca. 200 words) accompanied by information about the author (name, affiliation) to Eveline Dürr (Eveline.Duerr@lmu.de) and Rivke Jaffe (RJaffe@fsw.leidenuniv.nl).
Deadline for paper proposals is 20 July 2011.
For more information about the IUAES conference see http://www.iuaes2013.org/
In an earlier post I mentioned how we are trying to get some sort of overview on where slum tourism takes place. Doing this, we found certain forms of slum tourism that are temporary in nature rather than permanent.
A good example of this can be found in the paper Gecekondu Chic by Derya Özkan, based on her PhD-thesis. She only discusses slum tourism briefly when she criticises the way in which it canturn poverty into a spectacle that can be aesteticised and consumed. However, particularly interesting is her discussion of the Istanbul Bennial in 2003. Here informal housing (Gecekondu in Turkish) was used for an exhibited art project called “Ada”. A simulation gecekondu was built together with gecokondu builders from real life in the open in the backyard of the exhibition venue “Antrepo”.
While the intention of the project was to highlight the production process of the gecekondu, it became a spectacle and was later criticised for aesthecisising the gecekondu and turning it into a cultural commmodity that can be consumed much in the same way as slum tourism in other places.
Although not intended as such, it would certainly seem that the Ada project created the first type of gecekondu tourism. I am not aware of more recent gecekondu tourism projects and/or gecekondu tours, but this example does show that temporal forms of slum tourism at least may be more common than we think.