Who actually benefits?

Backpacking in Mexico; volunteering in India; surfing in South Africa; relaxing in Thailand – the current generation is travelling a lot and preferably in regions far away, on the other side of the globe. You can learn languages, gain “intercultural competence“, meet interesting people. Back at home the travellers draw on the experiences they gained and tell their family and friends of the fantastic beaches and the great hospitality. But isn’t it weird to travel around the world while the majority of the global population isn’t able to get neither a flight ticket nor a visa? Doesn’t tourism in the Global South* rather stand for a neocolonial age than for liberty and borderless mobility?

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Bored above the clouds

A fieldnote from above the clouds (March 2013)

“Ready for Take-off!” Everyone knows these famous words of pilots confirming their preparedness for departure. Condsidering my finding on a recent flight, I would add: “Ready for boredom!” Because this is what one might experience high above the clouds…

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Bored above the clouds

A fieldnote from above the clouds (March 2013)

“Ready for Take-off!” Everyone knows these famous words of pilots confirming their preparedness for departure. Condsidering my finding on a recent flight, I would add: “Ready for boredom!” Because this is what one might experience high above the clouds…

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Humans of the Future

A fieldnote from Munich, Germany (October 2013)

…one day humankind will be living in huge, well planned, structured and organised cities, where everyone will have his or her needs fulfilled in this life of 24/7-availability…

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Gone! When cultures disappear…

Jimmy Nelson shows vanishing tribes all over the world. His stunning photos are going viral at the moment. Yet another fetish for “the other”?

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No culture without power

“Practices like female genital mutilation tend to occur in situations where women have been the ones with less power and men have had more power. You may say, well, female genital mutilation is part of their culture – which suggests that they have agreed on this. I have my doubts. Because I frequently think that culture is involved in a power equation. If you change the power equation, are you really going to find all the people – men, women, young, old – still wanting to stick to these customs?”

Ulf Hannerz about anthropology, politics, and culture.

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