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Fabian Frenzel looks at the growing phenomenon of 'slum tourism' and considers its limitations and potential in tackling inequality throughout the global south
The Tourist Valorisation of Urban Poverty
Have slums become 'cool'? More and more tourists from across the globe seem to think so as they discover favelas, ghettos, townships and barrios on leisurely visits. But while slum tourism often evokes moral outrage, critics rarely ask about what motivates this tourism, or what wider consequences and effects it initiates. In this provocative book, Fabian Frenzel investigates the lure that slums exert on their better-off visitors, looking at the many ways in which this curious form of attraction ignites changes both in the slums themselves and on the world stage. Covering slums ranging from Rio de Janeiro to Bangkok, and multiple cities in South Africa, Kenya and India, Slumming It examines the roots and consequences of a growing phenomenon whose effects have ranged from gentrification and urban policy reform to the organization of international development and poverty alleviation. Controversially, Frenzel argues that the rise of slum tourism has drawn attention to important global justice issues, and is far more complex than we initially acknowledged.
Dr Fabian Frenzel is postdoctoral Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Potsdam and lecturer in organization at the School of Management, University of Leicester. His primary research interest is in the political implications of travel, tourism and mobilities. A particular focus has been the study of social movements' and political activists' mobility. Frenzel has developed two distinct empirical research areas, the study of slum tourism and the study of protest camps in his own work and in collaboration with colleges in two vibrant research networks. He is co-author of the monograph Protest Camps (Zed Books 2013) and co-editor of the edited collections Slum Tourism, Poverty, Power, Ethics (Routledge 2012) and Geographies of Inequality (Routledge 2014). He has published widely in academic journals and also writes on current affairs in the UK and beyond for the German weekly Jungle World.