Dr. Fabian Frenzel, University of Leicester, is an internationally renowned expert in the study of tourism and urban poverty, and the spaces where these two intersect.
Join us for his new book introduction, "Slumming It", at 12:30 in the Sun Life Auditorium, BMH 1621. Refreshments will be provided before the lecture, 11:30-12:30. No RSVP is required.
In his new book Dr Fabian Frenzel reflects on ‘slumming’ as a social practice that takes better-off visitors to areas of urban poverty. With a long history dating to the 19th century, slum tourism today is a significant urban tourism niche with over 1 Mio tours annually sold, taking in poor neighbourhoods and slums in the larger cities of South Africa, Rio de Janeiro, Mumbai and an increasing number of other cities in the world.
Dr. Frenzel investigates this controversial pastime, reflecting on the ethical debates it triggers and the moral ambiguities involved. Questioning a short hand rejection of tourism in areas of urban poverty as voyeuristic, the book discusses the wide ranging implications of travel practices and mobilities, including volunteering, activism and research tourism, that take relatively wealthy visitors into impoverished and stigmatized neighbourhoods.
Dr. Frenzel understands contemporary slum tourism as a social practice closely tied to attempts at managing inequality and poverty in an emergent transnational care regime. In the book, tourism is recast as a productive, and potentially rebellious force that affects urban place making and intervenes in local social conflicts. Tourism’s productivity, or valorization, may enhance and amplify local struggles for recognition and resources, but is also prone to being captured in urban regeneration schemes and gentrification.
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