Touring the Demolished Slum? Slum Tourism in the Face of Delhi's Gentrification

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    What are the limits of the knowledge it is ethically viable to articulate about “slums,” in a political environment where slum demolitions are a weekly occurrence? By cross-reading Partha Chatterjee's theoretical discussion of the conditions of subaltern (self)representation with studies of global slum tourism, the article attempts to answer this question by analyzing the case of the NGO, Salaam Baalak Trust. This NGO conducted slum tours for tourists from the global North in the interstitial spaces around New Delhi Railway Station until 2010, when the slum they used as an example of their work was suddenly demolished. To the NGO staff, this posed two mutually exclusive ethical demands: a) to represent slums so that the plight of their (sometimes displaced) inhabitants might be publicized and discussed and b) to hide slums from view so the state would have no incentive to remove them as a part of their struggle to gentrify the city. The article argues that the implications of this case speaks into the theoretical framework of slum tourism studies, as it illustrates how knowledge produced within this field comes to act in the world in sometimes unforeseen ways.
    TidsskriftTourism Review International
    Udgave nummer4
    Sider (fra-til)283-294
    Antal sider12
    StatusUdgivet - 2015

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