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On Favela Tours (or, “I went so you don’t have to”)

30 May 2014

Nothing really to add… this says it all about “poverty tourists”.

Americas South and North

I’ve long been a critic of favela tours, for any number of reasons, few of which are likely unique: it objectifies the poor; it is voyeuristic; it reinforces a so-called “First World”/“Third World” dichotomy that objectifies both the poor and those in “developing countries” (a term as loaded and barely better than “Third World”); it fails to connect local poverty to broader global issues and economics, many of which implicate the tourists themselves, directly or indirectly; it rarely provides tourists an opportunity to hear the voices of those who live in the favelas, instead relying on tour guides to “interpret”; and they fail to connect local poverty to broader national and global systems that allow for such poverty to exist and that often implicate and involve the tourists themselves, be it directly or indirectly.

In an attempt to perhaps placate and alleviate some of the guilt the (relatively wealthier) tourist…

View original post 2,178 more words

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