What’s your next vacation? How about a ghetto or a slum tour? A growing number of travel agencies are offering sightseeing packages ranging from cable car rides through Brazil’s favelas to walking adventures around the slums of India and Kenya. Opponents accuse the industry of turning poverty into entertainment while proponents say this is the best way to understand poverty and raise awareness. So, is this form of tourism exploration or exploitation?
Colonialism is alive & well
I am disgusted by this. If I was living in a slum and people came by to talk to me to take picture with me so they could show there co-workers what good people they are, I would pelt these mutha fuckas with rocks, or empty coca cola cans filled with sand because coca cola is the symbol for consumerism and capitalism, don’t believe me ask the Turkish people protesting
OK I’ve calmed down now.
Let me tell you what a tour guide said, on one of these slum tours (taken from here)
“The people are here by choice not by chance,” Mr. Sharma said of the estimated 700,000 residents of the area’s makeshift houses. His pre-tour briefing is loaded with statistics about the area to convince us that our response during this 600 rupee ($11) slum tour should not be pity, but awe. There are 10,000 different businesses operating inside its corrugated iron walls with combined annual revenues of 30 billion rupees ($559 million), he claims. Inhabitants include rupee millionaires with closed-circuit-television protected homes, Mr. Sharma adds. “This is a five-star slum.”
but wait there is more:
“These tours are very derogatory for the people of Dharavi,” Mr. Arputham said. The majority of those living in the slum question why white people are come to visit them “like monkeys” in a zoo, Mr. Arputham claims. “It’s very bad exploitation. The tour shows them living in dirty conditions and doesn’t explain how people are struggling to save themselves,” he added. There are times when it does feel like a visit to a zoo. It’s hard not to peer into the open front doors of the one-roomed homes, some of which are rented for $60 a month. Or to avert your gaze from the old man in a towel on his way back from a wash in the communal bathroom. One 15-year-old college student, who lives in an area of the slum occupied by migrant potters from Gujarat, says the tours educate people from the West but make her feel uncomfortable.
My Honest Thoughts
This is an expensive way to educate someone. Poverty is all over the US and Western Europe too. So the idea is to ignore the poverty and social degeneration in your own backyard, your own city, state,country, spends thousands of dollars to see how the poor people who probably make your bullshit clothing, gadgets and smart phones live. I am tempted to believe these rich people are going to check on their investment. That means that they want to make sure people are miserable enough to continue accepting substandard conditions in their life and at their work place to continue making the goods we need at the prices we want so we can go own living in our self indulgent bubble of personal aloofness and sterility.
After you see how the other half lives you can walk away knowing that:
- You have change the lives of some slum dwellers, your mere presence has inspired them to become tour guides. (Some tours give proceeds raised by the slum tourism to organizations that help the slum dwellers find jobs. )
- You provide money to educate,train, some people to leave the slums.
Of course not having them read Shakespeare for their education you teaching them tasks skills. Your allowing the slum to persist in time. Think about it, you are empowering individuals to leave the slum you aren’t addressing why the slum is there in the first place. That’s not part of your education. Slums are there because people choose to “live like animals”. For those who don’t want to live this life you empower with skills so the system, the economic system you have through your dollars and arrogance helped maintain through time.
Lemme tell give you a scenario:
You taking off the cream of this crop. They get “empowered” and they leave. After enough time the slum will become worse and worse, maybe more violent, maybe the divide between relative rich and relative poor in regards to the slum become worse and worse. The worse it becomes the more slum tourism will continue. Think about it, no more slums no more revenue generated from slum tourism. You may want to help these people but not too much because your need to be educated on the ills that others in the world suffer from your caprice and uncontrollable greed your education is worth another’s misery.
This sounds like life in the “hood”. I would like these same people to go to public housing in any city and do the same thing. I’m not even going to get into it. I don’t believe that is the way to educate people about poverty or raise awareness. People are aware of the dangers of cigarettes, cocaine, unprotected sex, FOX News, really tight underwear but that awareness doesn’t translate into action. Ill leave you with a quote from one of my favorite movies Enter the Dragon
“Ghettos are the same all over the world. They stink.”
Williams -Enter The Dragon
A few months ago I broke some news about sexual tourism, with my own take on things suggestions on how to make it more profitable. It seems that the third world or most of the former colonies still serve as a mean for the former colonizers (the USA included) to act out all their strange dreams and imperialistic yearnings.
Sexual tourism, slum tourism, there is something really wrong going on here. I don’t understand why when Westerners vacation it is in some way at the expense of others.
Female sex tourism occurs when Western women travel to developing countries in order to gain sexual or romantic favours that are scarce or not available to them in their own country. Female sex tourism occurs in diverse regions of the world. The demographics of these female sex tourists differ from tourist to tourist. Female sex tourist are usually classified as upper-middle to upper class women who comes from a developed Westernised country. These women will flock to underdeveloped countries such as; the Caribbean or Kenya, in search of romance or sexual outlets.
- A Dispatch From The Toughest Slums on Earth (counterpunch.org)
- Reflections on Visit to Delhi Slum Neighborhoods (piresustainability.wordpress.com)
- Way to See Jakarta : Slum Area (pelancongatlas.wordpress.com)
- ‘Turn sex tourists into ex-tourists’ (chellelandia.com)
- Italy tops international sex tourism list (telegraph.co.uk)