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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)


CALL FOR PAPERS: Commodifying Urban Poverty, Social Exclusion, and Marginalisation: Spatial and Social Consequences

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/