Tag Archives: Conference

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/


Promoting tourism for sustainable development and poverty reduction

On the 10th of May the UN Steering Committee on Tourism for Development is organising a Tourism Special Event at LDC-IV Conference. The idea is to “share strategic insights on major challenges and devise the way forward for tourism in the least the developed countries” and to “set the scene for a new framework for development through tourism”

Although the conference is by invitation only, the full brief of the event is given on the website and it is worth the read. It shows an interesting discursive UN-development with relation to tourism, sustainability and poverty reduction that will most likely influence international policy developments with regards to slum tourism.

Destination Slum! great success

The international conference on slum tourism that was held in Bristol from 9-11 December was a great success. Delegates from 6 continents discussed a wide variety of subjects dealing with tourism in slums around the world.

The conference started with an interesting and entertaining discussion of tourism in the favelas by keynote speaker Bianca Freire Medeiros. Following this,  24 other presentations were given that sparked off great discussions not only directly following the presentation, but also during coffee breaks and the evening programme.

To all that came, thank you very much for your input. Let’s hope we can follow up on the momentum of this conference to increase research and insights regarding slum tourism so that a follow up conference can be organised soon! In the meantime the RC21 conference in Amsterdam may be a next meeting point for those doing research on tourism in slum areas.


International Conference, Bristol Business School, Bristol, United Kingdom

9-11th December 2010

Destination Slum: The production and consumption of poverty in travel and tourism

Slums (that includes favelas, townships and other notations as well) have long enticed popular imagination. They have been scandalised and fought, bulldozed down and walled in. Equally however they were idealised and sought out as places displaying a more authentic humanity, flourishing culture and deviant, but inventive entrepreneurship. Not just the recent fascination with films like “City of God” and “Slum Dog Millionaire” shows that these desires have all but vanished. Indeed in today’s ‘planet of slums’, slum-tourism flourishes. Concurrently the concept of slum tourism is problematised in a growing body of research that addresses this controversial past time.

Paramount in reflections of slum tourism are ethical concerns and potential benefits:

  • Is slum tourism voyeuristic and immoral?
  • How are guided tours organized or composed?
  • What is and why is it shown?
  • To what extent can it provide an income and positive visibility for people in deprived areas?
  • What motivations and expectations did and do people have to visit slums?
  • Why and to what extend are slum tours considered to be ‘authentic’ forms of holidays?
  • Which stakeholders are involved in slum tourism and who profits most?
  • How does today’s slum-tourism relate to its historic predecessors and to the legacy of colonialism?
  • What are the geographical scopes of slum-tourism and which place does it occupy in the new mobility system?
  • Where does slum tourism fit in a globalised world of tourist consumption?
  • What is the relationship between slum tourism and issues of migration, democracy and (in)equality?

An increasing number of scholars are working on these issues on different continents. This conference aims to bring together researchers of slum and poverty tourism in urban areas, in order to stimulate an exchange of experiences and contacts. Working towards the formation of an international network of researchers the conference will also aim to be stepping stone for further co-operations and projects on the subject.

enticed paramount

Keynote speaker: Dr. Bianca Freire-Medeiros, author of Touring Poverty (Routledge, 2011).

We are calling for propositions to present papers and their research on slum tourism addressing:

  • The histories of slum tourism: differences between earlier forms of slum tourism and the ones we witness today
  • Slums and their populations as tourist attractions
  • Slum tourism and the ‘search for authenticity’
  • The commodification of poverty.
  • Representations of the slum beyond tourism: photography, film, and literature
  • Favela Chic: the mobile imaginary of the slum in popular culture
  • The geographies of slum tourism.
  • Slum Tourism and the New Mobilities Paradigm
  • Voluntourism’s relation to slum tourism
  • Slum-Tourism in Disaster Zones
  • Slum-Tourism as Dark Tourism
  • Slum tourism as pro-poor tourism
  • Entrepreneurship and small business involvement in slum tourism
  • The business ethics of slum tourism
  • Theoretical, methodological and ethical issues in Slum Tourism Research.

Researchers from across all disciplines are invited to submit paper proposals. They should include the title of the paper, a short abstract (max. 300 words), institutional affiliation and contact information.

The conference will take place at the University of the West of England in Bristol, UK. The fees for the 3-day event are 100 Pound Sterling (50 Pound for Graduate Students), covering conference materials, refreshments, lunch and two dinners. More information will be available on www.destinationslum.com.

Proposals should be send before September 1, 2010 to Dr. Fabian Frenzel (fabian.frenzel@uwe.ac.uk). Accepted presentations are invited to submit full papers by 15th November 2010 to be considered for publication in a special issue of an international journal (Negotiations are under way). We look forward to hearing from you.

Organising committee:

Dr. Fabian Frenzel, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol

Ko Koens, ICRT (International Centre for Responsible Tourism), Leeds Metropolitan University

Professor Manfred Rolfes, Department of Geography, University of Potsdam

Dr. Malte Steinbrink, IMIS (Institute for Migration Research and

Intercultural Studies), University of Osnabrueck.