Monday, May 2, 2011

"Here is $5. Take Care of My Tourist"

"The World Tourism Organisation argues that responsible tourism can play a significant role in eradicating poverty and meeting the millennium development goals. But is it right?"

"Kennedy Odede, originally from the Kibera slum, in Kenya, who is executive director of US-based charity Shining Hope for Communities, explains why tourist visits to slums are morally wrong."

Listen to the Guardian Focus podcast here. Kennedy Odede's portion begins at the 9:14 minute mark.

"Tourists taking pictures of people in desperately poor conditions. They romanticize poverty. They hold their noses with one hand, and their cameras in another. Tour operators hire inhabitants and pay them $5, order them 'to make sure you take care of my tourist, make sure they take the pictures that they want.' For example somebody took a picture of a poor woman giving birth. I think this is horrific. Oh my god, this place is smelling, they say. Yet you are walking into my home. You take your horrible pictures and leave." 

Wiki njema.
Mama Shujaa.

3 comments:

  1. I'm with Kennedy on this one. Tourism is not bad per se, but it can very easily degenerate in a voyeuristic spectacle, the benefits of which, are scant and counterproductive to the same populations it purports to help.

    Great link. The Guardian and The Observer are my newspapers of choice here in the UK.

    Greetings from London.

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  2. ACIL, I too agree with Kennedy. All these years and Kibera persists as a slum. The government has not attended to it, has failed to present the apparatus needed to create jobs; has not removed the red-tape, corruption in place on all levels. For instance if say 50 people from the slums were to be offered jobs to obtain a better, life, moderate housing, everything would trickle down, then surely 40 plus years later Kibera would not be one of the largest slums in the world. The environment needs to be conducive to inspire people to create jobs and it is up to the government to attend to this.

    In the meantime, the exploitation continues. :-(

    Thanks, and I am with you on the Guardian. I'll start checking out The Observer regularly.

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  3. A (blonde Australian) ex-colleague of mine visited South Africa and came back with pictures of the cape town slums, and in all of the pictures, the local people were holding a barbie doll she had taken with her. She and her mates found this hilarious and had no idea why I told her I was absolutely disgusted and shocked. She said she paid them for the pictures so why should she feel bad? I can feel my blood pressure rising just remembering looking at those photos...

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