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The End of Tourism

The End of Tourism

Author: Chris Christou

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The End of Tourism Podcast is a project about the deep causes and consequences of tourism, wanderlust, spectacle, exile. It is an invitation into the local resistance and resilience movements in the face of each of these things.

These interviews court a path towards “a world where many worlds fit” and feed each other. We invite you to join us, to listen, to sit in solidarity with other worlds (and ones yet to come).
52 Episodes
On this episode, my guest is , a friend and scholar who recently completed his PhD in Cultural Geography from The University of Edinburgh where his research centered on themes of displacement and memorial walking practices in the Highlands of Scotland. A child of Greek political refugees on both sides of his family, Christos' work looks at ways in which ceremony and ritual might afford us the capacity to integrate disconnection from place and ancestry. Further, his research into pre-modern Gaelic Highland culture reveals animistic relationship with mountains which disrupt easy definitions of colonialism and indigeneity.Show Notes:Summoning and Summiting a DoctorateThe British Empire & EverestThe Three Roots of FreedomHillwalkers and HomecomingThe Consequences of Staying and LeavingThe Romans Make a Desert and Call it PeaceFarming EmptinessLandscapes as MediumsRitualized Acts of WalkingHomework:Christos Galanis’ Official WebsiteTranscript:Chris: [00:00:00] Welcome, Christos, to the End of Tourism podcast. Christos: Thank you, Chris. Chris: Thank you for joining me today. Would you be willing to let us know where you're dialing in from today? Christos: Yeah, I'm calling in from home, which at the moment is Santa Fe, New Mexico in the United States. Yeah, I moved out here for my master's in 2010 and fell in love with it, and and then returned two years ago.So it's actually a place that does remind me of the Mediterranean and Greece, even though there's no water, but the kind of mountain desert. So there's a familiarity somehow in my body. Chris: Sounds beautiful. Well I'm delighted to speak with you today about your PhD dissertation entitled "A Mountain Threnody: Hill Walking and Homecoming in the Scottish Highlands." And I know you're working on the finishing touches of the dissertation, but I'd like to pronounce a dear congratulations on that huge feat. I imagine after a decade of research and [00:01:00] writing, that you can finally share this gift, at least for now, in this manner, in terms of our conversation together.Christos: Thank you. It was probably the hardest thing I've done in my life in terms of a project. Yeah. Nine years.Chris: And so, you and I met at Stephen Jenkinson's Orphan Wisdom School many years ago. But beyond that from what I understand that you were born and raised in Toronto and Scarborough to Greek immigrants, traveled often to see family in Greece and also traveled widely yourself, and of course now living in New Mexico for some time. I'm curious why focus on Scotland for your thesis? Christos: It was the last place I thought I would be going to. Didn't have a connection there. So I did my master's down here in Albuquerque at UNM and was actually doing a lot of work on the border with Mexico and kind of Southwest Spanish history.I actually thought I was going to go to UC San Diego, partly because of the weather and had some connections [00:02:00] there. And two things happened. One was that you have to write your GRE, whatever the standardized test is you need to do for grad school here in the US, you don't have to do in the UK. So that appealed to me.And it's also, there's no coursework in the UK. So you just, from day one, you're just doing your own research project. And then I wanted to actually work with what Was and probably still is my favorite academic writer is Tim Ingold, who was based in Aberdeen up in the north of Scotland and is kind of that thing where I was like, "well if I'm gonna do a PhD What if I just literally worked with like the most amazing academic I can imagine working with" and so I contacted him. He was open to meeting and possibly working together and so I was gonna fly to Scotland.I was actually spending the winter in Thailand at the time, so I was like, if I'm gonna go all the way to Scotland, maybe I should check out a couple more universities. So, I looked at St. Andrews, which is a little bit north of Edinburgh, and then Edinburgh, then visited all [00:03:00] three schools, and actually just really fell in love with Edinburgh, and then in the end got full funding from them. And that took me to Scotland. And I didn't know what was in store for me. I didn't even follow through on my original research project, which had nothing to do with Scotland. The sites that I was actually proposed to work with was on the Dine reservation out here in Arizona. There's a tradition, long tradition of sheep herding and there's a lot of, some friends of mine have a volunteer program where volunteers go and help the Diné elders and herd their sheep for them and what's happening is they're trying to hold on to their land and Peabody Coal, a coal mining company, has been trying to take the land forever and so by keeping on herding sheep, it allows them to stay there.So I was actually kind of looking at walking as forms of resistance and at that time, most undocumented migrants trying to enter Europe were walking from Turkey through Macedonia. So I was actually going to go there. And yeah, once I kind of hit the ground, I realized that that's way too ambitious.And I [00:04:00] decided to focus on this really strange phenomenon called Monroe Bagging in the Highlands of Scotland, where people work all week in their office, Monday to Friday, and then spend their weekends checking off a task list of 282 mountains that they summit. There's 282 of them and they're categorized that way because they're all over 3, 000 feet, which for us in North America, isn't that high, but for the Scottish Highlands, because they're very ancient, ancient, worn down mountains is pretty high.And also the weather and the climate and the terrain make it pretty treacherous out there. So it's, it's not an easy thing. Yeah. And I just thought this is a really weird, strange way to relate to mountains and to land. And it seems like a very British thing to do. And I kind of just got curious to figure out what was going on and why people would actually do this.And it came from a very, actually, critical perspective, to begin with. As things unfolded, that changed a fair amount in terms of getting to know people. But, yeah, that was Scotland. And, I think looking back, I think [00:05:00] I was called there by the mountains. I can give the bigger context maybe later on, but essentially one of the main mountain called Ben Cruachan, in Argyle that I ended up most working with and kind of going in and doing ceremony for, and with. I ended up later meeting my what would become my wife and married into her family and on one side of her family, they are literally the Macintyres who are from that mountain. So yeah ended up kind of going there and marrying into a lineage of a mountain that was the center of my my dissertation.So in the end I think I was called there. I think I was called to apprentice those mountains. And then I feel like my time ended. And I think this dissertation is kind of the story of that relationship with that courtship.Chris: Beautiful. Well, thank you so much for that beautifully winding answer and introduction. So, you know, a lot of your dissertation speaks to kind of different notions of mountain climbing, summiting, hiking but you also write about [00:06:00] how our cultural or collective understandings of mountains have defined our ability to undertake these activities.And I'm curious, based on your research and personal experience, how do you think mountains are understood within the dominant paradigm of people who undertake these practices. Christos: Yeah, good question. I would say, I know I don't like to speak in universals, but I could say that one universal is that, as far as I can tell, all cultures around the world tend to not only revere mountains, but tend to relate to mountain peaks as sacred.And so in most cultures, at least pre modern culture, you will always find a taboo around ever actually climbing to the top of a mountain, especially a significant mountain. So ways that you might worship a sacred mountain, for example, you know, in Tibet is to circumnavigate. So hiking, walking around a mountain three times or walking the perimeter of a mountain, kind of circling [00:07:00] around and around the summit.But it would be absolutely abhorrent to actually ever climb to the top. So one thing I was interested in is what happened, what shifted, where in the past people would never think of climbing a mountain summit to that becoming almost the only thing that people were focused on. And I didn't know this, but out of all countries, the country that most intensely kind of pursued that practice was, was England, was Britain, actually.So it's really fascinating. There's this period, the Victorian era, where basically Britain is invading other countries such as Nepal, India, into China, into Kenya, parts of Africa, South America certainly here in North America and the Americas and of course mountain ranges serve as pretty natural and intense frontiers and barriers, especially back then before. You know, industrial machinery and airplanes and things [00:08:00] like that, you're going over land. And so to be able to get through a mountain range was a pretty intense thing. Really only became possible with kind of Victorian era technology and because they were able to penetrate these places that people really couldn't have before it was a way of kind of proving modern supremacy or the supremacy of kind of modern secularism.Because even in places like Sutherland and the Alps, the indigenous Swiss also considered like the Alps sacred, the mountain peaks and wouldn't climb them. And so as the British kind of came up into these mountain ranges. They had the idea of proving that essentially there were no gods on these mountaintops.There was nothing sacred about them. It's just a pile of rock and anybody can climb up and nothing's going to happen to them. And so they really started setting out to start summiting these mountains. And it was mostly military engineers. There's a big overlap bet
My guest on this episode is Healani Sonoda-Pale, a Kanaka Maoli Human Rights advocate for Self-Determination and a Water Protector who has been organizing at the intersection of the indigenous struggle for liberation and environmental protection in Hawai'i. She is a member of the Red Hill Community Representation Initiative and the spokesperson of the Ka Lahui Hawaii Political Action Committee. Healani was born and raised on the island of O'ahu where she resides with her family.Show Notes:The Beauty of the Pandemic Shutdown in Hawai’iThe Fallout of the Lahaina Fires in West MauiNo ControlsManufacturing the AuthenticReopening for Tourism in the Midst of CatastropheLocal Schism: Those in Favour and Those AgainstThe Tourism at the Heart of the Housing CrisisKa Lahui Hawai'i Political Action CommitteeThe Water Crisis in OahuDecolonizing Tourism is an OxymoronSolidarity with Kanaka MaoliHomework:Healani Sonoda-Pale InstagramKa Lahui Hawai’i | TwitterOahu Water Protectors | Red Hill Community Representation InitiativeTranscript:Chris: [00:00:00] In the first season of the podcast I spoke to Hokulani Aikau and Vernadette Gonzalez about the attempts to decolonize tourism in the Hawaiian islands. And following that Kaleo Patterson. Who offered a deeper historical and cultural background into the ongoing us occupation of Hawaii. The military industrial tourism complex, and some of the traditional forms of hospitality that Hawaiians have engaged in. Since then, and especially because of the wildfires that spread through west Maui this past summer. Listeners have asked again and again, to return to the islands, to host the voices of those. They're now struggling with another catastrophe. Who are offering resilience and resistance. In the face of these enduring consequences. And as such, I welcome.Healani Sonoda-Pale to the pod. Thank you for joining me today, Healani.Healani: It's my pleasure to be joining this podcast and to help [00:01:00] spread the message about tourism in Hawai'i. Chris: Healani, could you do us the favor of elaborating a bit on where you're speaking from today and how the world looks like for you?Healani: Okay. So I'm a Kanaka Maoli woman, born and raised in Hawai'i on the island of O'ahu. I have been in the Hawaiian movement for liberation and self determination for nearly 30 years. I am a student of Dr. Haunani-Kay Trask, and I am on the front lines of many, many issues. The issues that we face today are, many of them are a consequence of tourism.The desecration of cultural sites. The degradation of our beautiful beaches pollution, traffic, overcrowding, the high cost of living in Hawai'i, the extremely high cost of housing in Hawai'i. These are all because of tourism. This is happening to Hawai'i. [00:02:00] As a result, direct result of the tourist industry, which Hawaii relies on.And in Hawaii, we have two businesses. We have the military industrial complex and the tourist industry. Those are the two worst industries to rely on, number one. And they are the most exploitive and extractive industries to have. They do not enhance our way of life here on, on these islands in Hawaii.They do the opposite. They have brought many of us to the brink where we are now, most of us living paycheck to paycheck. The average cost of a house in Hawaii is a million dollars.I believe Honolulu is the number one or at least the top three most expensive cities in the United States to live in. So tourism is a plague in Hawaii. It is a plague upon this place and it has caused us to [00:03:00] struggle on a daily basis, not just financially and not just socially, mentally as well. Having to deal with tourists on a daily basis in Hawaii is frustrating, so that's kind of like the space I'm coming from. I am involved with the water issue, protecting our water, which is now something that is a huge issue. I'm very much involved in the Red Hill issue. I'm involved with protecting Iwi Kūpuna, which is our traditional Hawaiian burials. I'm involved with the repatriation of our land. Again, another big issue. It never ends because the, the economic, social pressure to take and take and take until there's nothing left is relentless. So that's the space we're coming from. So you talked about COVID, right? You started this podcast in the beginning of COVID and COVID was an eye opener for a lot of people in Hawai'i. When COVID happened, [00:04:00] the state of Hawai'i shut down and tourists weren't allowed here during our shutdown.I believe it was like a year and a half. It was beautiful. Even though we were living in the middle of a pandemic, our beaches were empty. There were no lines at the stores. There was no traffic. Even the air we breathed seemed cleaner. The water we swam in, in the ocean, didn't have this sliminess on it, from tourists with suntan lotion swimming in it all day, right?So the fish came back. Even the plants and the land was happy. I mean, it was a beautiful time. Even though it was sad because we were living through a pandemic, it was a beautiful time for us as Kanaka because we got to see Hawai'i without tourists. And that really opened the eyes for people who usually are not as [00:05:00] critical of tourism, as many of us have been so more people in Hawaii started saying, especially Kanaka Mali, well, how do we move forward without tourism?But when the state opened up again, tourism came back and it came back with a vengeance.When you look at what was happening on social media and, you know, what people were posting and across all the islands, we saw some frustration. We saw people posting about interactions they were having with tourists at sacred sites and beaches. People were more aware that tourists were there after COVID because we were able to enjoy our beaches, enjoy our islands without them.And then when they came back, it was not only dangerous because we live 2, 000 miles away from the nearest continent. So, they were bringing in the COVID. I mean, from the time of [00:06:00] Captain Cook, tourists, visitors, explorers, missionaries, they have been bringing in diseases when, when Captain Coke arrived in 1778. We didn't have any immunity to these diseases, and so now, I think for a lot of residents here in Hawai'i, our eyes have been opened on what we have to give up for tourism.We have to sacrifice not only our beautiful island life, but a way forward that doesn't include commodifying who we are as a people, our culture, everything. The state's been talking about diversifying the industry here in Hawai'i, right? They wanted to look into agriculture was one. They've never seriously taken that up. And they always fall back on tourism.Chris: And why do you think that is? Because it's just so easy.Healani: Because they've invested. It's a multi billion dollar business. There's hotels. Waikiki [00:07:00] is loaded with hotels. It's business interests. It's those that have been in control of the tourist industry, wanting to keep control of that and wanting to keep their financial interests protected and keep going.So that is, that has been a problem. And of course we have strong lobbyists here in Hawai'i for the tourist industry. It is an industry that is supported by taxpayer dollars. It's one of the few industries we give millions of dollars of our money. It's a private industry supported by taxpayer dollars.So it's a private industry that we support that exploits not just our resources, our culture, but they have really degraded our way of life here. They've made everything so expensive that most of our people, most of the indigenous people of Hawai'i have moved away because they can't afford to live here.Chris: And you know, I'm curious [00:08:00] in this regard, to what extent do you think that this Government money and government decisions played a part in these wildfires that passed through West Maui in August, you know, like reading and researching for this interview and seeing what's been shared online and social media, the term management and mismanagement continues to arise in and among social movement activists.And I'm curious to what extent you think that either government action or inaction or the tourism industry had a part to play in what happened this past summer.Healani: The Lahaina Fires. was so tragic and the tragedy continues months after. The suicide rates are on the rise in Lahaina. Families are still displaced, thousands of them. They were just [00:09:00] a few days ago, I had posted about it. They were just given again, eviction letters. The last time I was in Maui was there.The first set of eviction letters that went out. So they're being housed in hotels, 7,00-8,000 of them; families that have lost everything, in hotels. And now they're being told to leave to make way for tourism, to make way for tourists. That's the enormity of the pressure that tourists, tourism brings with it. The pressure to a piece and to serve and to put tourism first.Just going back to my childhood in school. We were basically brainwashed into thinking we need tourism. Without tourism, we wouldn't have jobs. There would be no money, you know? So it's been kind of ingrained in us. And that's why I think COVID was super important because it was an eye opener for a lot of us.Because they saw really [00:10:00] what was possible, a world without tourism. And so the pressure to support, to push tourism, to... "they always say, we want to support small businesses," but it's really not about small businesses. It's about those huge, multinational corporations that have invested millions.into this industry and have supported and lobbied for their industry, for the tourist industry. That's what it's really about, to a point where they really don't care about the people, the residents of Lahaina. They're literally traumatizing these families again and pushing them around to make room for an industry that we all pay to support.And the Lahaina fires is a result of corporations, land grabbing by corporations of [
On this episode, my guests are and of the Podcast.Clementine Morrigan is a writer and public intellectual based in Montréal, Canada. She writes popular and controversial essays about culture, politics, ethics, relationships, sexuality, and trauma. A passionate believer in independent media, she’s been making zines since the year 2000 and is the author of several books. She’s known for her iconic white-text-on-a-black-background mini-essays on Instagram. One of the leading voices on the Canadian Left and one half of the F*****g Cancelled podcast, Clementine is an outspoken critic of cancel culture and a proponent of building solidarity across difference. She is a socialist, a feminist, and a vegan for the animals and the earth.Jay is a writer, artist and designer from Montreal and is the author of the Substack and the zine series What Else Is There to Live For. Jay is also the co-host of F*****g Cancelled.Show Notes:Clementine & Jay’s TravelsThe NexusIdentitarianism and Identity PoliticsGentrification & SolidarityHow Nationalism Leaks into the LeftThe Contradictions of IdentitarianismFreedom, Limits and GuesthoodBorders and BiomesThe Quest for Offline CommunitiesRadical & Reciprocal HospitalityAuthenticityHomework:Clementine’s SubstackJay’s Substack (including Dumplings & Domination)Clementine’s ShopJay’s StoreF*****g Cancelled ShopF*****g Cancelled PodcastTranscriptChris: [00:00:00] Welcome to the pod, Clementine and Jay. It's an honor to have you both here today. Each of your work both individually and together has been a great influence on mine and definitely eye-opening and if I can say so much needed in our time. So thank you for joining me. Jay: Thank you, man. Thanks for having us.Clementine: Thanks for having us.Chris: So, I'd like to start, if we can, by asking you both where you find yourselves today and what the world looks like for you through each of your eyes.Jay: Well, we both find ourselves in Montreal which is where we live. I was working in homeless shelters for years and then I got let go cause I tried to unionize the one I was working at. Actually I succeeded in unionizing the one I was working at. And they mysteriously did not have any money to renew my contract after that.And yeah, so I'm writing and I just launched a new solo podcast about like world history outside of the West. And so I've been working on that. It's called [00:01:00] dumplings and domination, which are two things that human beings love. And Yeah, so that's, that's what I'm up to. Clementine: Yeah, so I'm also, yeah, I find myself in Montreal, in the snow, and I guess, relevant to the topics of this podcast one of the things I'm grappling with now is my perpetual existence as a unilingual anglophone in the city of Montreal, which is a bilingual city, but it's a French city, like.Actually. And I'm planning on having a child and I'm planning to have this child here. And so I'm facing the dilemma of being like an English speaker whose child is not going to just be an English speaker. And so I really need to learn French, basically. So this is my struggle, because being 37 and only speaking one language my entire life, it's like super hard to learn another language.And I've really, really struggled. A couple times I've made an attempt to learn French, and it's like really [00:02:00] frustrating, but that is one of the things I'm grappling with. I feel like it's relevant to the podcast, because in many ways, even though I've lived in Montreal for like almost seven years, there's a way in which I still am kind of like a tourist here, because I haven't learned the language.So, will I complete my transition into becoming Quebecois? Chris: Yeah, maybe so. Jay: Only time will tell. Chris: I was just reading this biography of Ivan Illich, who's like was an Austrian philosopher and he said that like trying to learn a new language, especially if you're immersed in the place is the greatest measure or degree of poverty that one can undertake because of the degree of dependence that they have on other people and not just dependence, but like dependence on their hospitality, assuming it exists in order to, you know, be able to understand what you're saying and communicate in that way. Clementine: Like Montreal is interesting because at least in the neighborhood that I live and in many places in [00:03:00] Montreal, it's functionally bilingual. So it's not like learning in an immersive environment as if you went somewhere and everybody's speaking that language.So you kind of just have to or you won't be able to communicate. Like you have to learn here. You know, when I'm fumbling around trying to speak French, people just start speaking English to me because even if they're a francophone, like, at least in the neighborhoods where I live, most people are bilingual, and they speak better English than I do French, so they will accommodate me, which is polite of them, and also, It does not help me learn, you know?Jay: Whereas the government of Quebec will not accommodate you. Clementine: No, the government will not accommodate you at all. And so, like, it's only in circumstances where, like, I desperately need to understand where, like, there's no, there's absolutely no accommodation. So. Chris: And that kind of touches on my next question, which is, you know, in terms of the travels that you two have.Has there been that degree of poverty elsewhere? I mean, I imagine you might have traveled to other places maybe in Canada, maybe elsewhere. [00:04:00] What have your travels taught you each, if anything, about the world, about your lives, about culture? Jay: Yeah. I had kind of an unusual relationship with travel.Because as a kid, I moved to a different country every like three or four years cause of my parents work. And so, yeah, I grew up like in Asia and not just like dipping into a place and then like leaving right away but spending years of my life in each country. Right. And like learning the languages and stuff.And so, yeah, I think that was a quite an unusual way to kind of experience travel as a kid. And I think that it did definitely have a lot of impact on me. Because I think that travel in general, I think is a wonderful and amazing thing, you know, which is why people like to do it. And it can be really profound for your mind and your understanding of the world and of other people, you know but obviously there's travel and then there's [00:05:00] travel.I feel really grateful that I was able to see so much of the world by living there, you know and I think that it was really important for me in my kind of embodied understanding that other people and other parts of the world are, you know, just as real and just as important and just as embedded in history as I am and as like the people are in my passport country, which happens to be Canada, you know?Clementine: Yeah. I've traveled a little bit, but I think for me, like, When I was young, I was too crazy to travel, you know, and I truly mean that, like I have complex PTSD and like as much as my life was so chaotic and like really, like, you know, on F*****g Cancelled, Jay and I talk about how we're both alcoholics in recovery, like, When I was drinking, I always wanted to be someone who traveled, and my life was very, like, chaotic and full of violence and danger and all those types of things, but the PTSD made it really hard to do [00:06:00] anything because I was always scared, you know and being a woman traveling... like, in recovery, I've wanted to try to travel more, but the combination of one being a woman traveling alone, it does come with certain risks to it.You're more vulnerable in certain ways and then add that to the PTSD. It's like... it's super anxiety producing, you know, so it's something that I've done a little bit but not as much as I would have liked to and I guess we'll see like what the future holds with that. One thing is is that like I learned to drive pretty late.I learned to drive in my 30s and once I learned to drive going on road trips was actually a way that really opened up travel for me because having my car with me gave me this sense of like safety, basically, that I could leave a situation like I was there with my car. So I had like the independence to like not be dependent on like strangers because I was afraid of them basically.But we went on a podcast tour last [00:07:00] year and drove like all across the United States in like a month and like drove down to like Arizona and like back up the West coast. And like, that was really, really cool. Chris: Beautiful. Thank you both. And so, you know, it might seem a little strange for you two to be invited on a podcast about tourism, migration, hospitality given that, you know, perhaps on the surface of things, your work doesn't appear to center around such things, but I've asked you both to speak with me today, in part, because I see a lot of parallels between what you've both referred to as the nexus in your work and what I refer to as the, a touristic worldview. And so to start, I'm wondering if you two could explain for our listeners, what the nexus is and its three main pillars.Clementine: So, in shorthand, or in, like, common language, you might call it social justice culture. There's a lot of different ways that this culture has been talked about but it's a particular [00:08:00] way of doing politics on the left, or left of center. And. Like, Jay and I come from inside this culture, so we are coming from inside social justice culture, being, like, leftists and being queer people and having existed in, like, progressive social justicey spaces for our entire adult lives, basically.And basically, we're noticing that there wasn't really language to talk about some of the phenomenons that were happening inside social justice culture or even, you know, social justice culture itself doesn't really give itself a name. Like we can call it social justice culture or we could call it somethi
On this episode, my guest is David Bacon, a California writer and documentary photographer. A former union organizer, today he documents labor, the global economy, war and migration, and the struggle for human rights. His latest book, In the Fields of the North / En los campos del norte (COLEF / UC Press, 2017) includes over 300 photographs and 12 oral histories of farm workers. Other books include The Right to Stay Home and Illegal People, which discuss alternatives to forced migration and the criminalization of migrants. Communities Without Borders includes over 100 photographs and 50 narraatives about transnational migrant communities and The Children of NAFTA is an account of worker resistance on the US/Mexico border in the wake of NAFTA.Show Notes:David’s Early YearsLearning about Immigration through UnionsThe Meaning of Being UndocumentedNAFTA and Mexican MigrationThe Source of Corn / MaizeBinational Front of Indigenous Organizations / Frente Indigena de Organizacaions BinacionalesThe Right to Stay HomeAndres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) CampaignThe Face & History of Immigration in the USAImmigration Reform and AmnestyThe Violence of Fortuna Silver Mines in OaxacaSolidarity, Change and OptimismHomework:The Right to Stay Home: How US Policy Drives Mexican MigrationIn the Fields of the North / En los campos del norteIllegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes ImmigrantsCommunities without Borders: Images and Voices from the World of MigrationThe Children of NAFTA: Labor Wars on the U.S./Mexico BorderDavid’s Twitter AccountDavid’s Official WebsiteTranscript:Chris: [00:00:00] Welcome to the End of Tourism podcast, David. It's an honor to have you on the pod. To begin, I'd like to ask you where you find yourself today and what the world looks like for you there. David: Well, I live in Berkeley, here in California, and I am sitting in front of my computer screen having just what I've been up to today before talking with you. Chris: Hmm. Well, thank you so much for joining us, and thank you for your work. Perhaps I could ask you what drew you to the issues of labor and migration.David: Sure. Well, I come from a kind of left wing union family, so I knew about unions and workers and strikes and things like that from probably since before I can remember. And so I was kind of an activist when I was in high school, got involved in the [00:01:00] student movement in the 1960s at the University of California, got involved in the free speech movement, got tossed out by the university, actually, and wound up going to work after that, really, because I got married, had a daughter, and I got married, had a daughter, and, I needed to get a job and, you know, worked for quite a while as a a printer in the same trade that my father was, had been in went back to night school to learn more of the, of the trade, how to do different parts of it, how to run presses and so forth and then got involved, this is, you know, in the late 60s, early 70s got involved in the movement to support farm workers, really, and I was one of those people, you know, if you're my age, you remember this, if you're younger, you probably don't, but we used to picket supermarkets to try to get them [00:02:00] to stop selling the grapes and the wine and the lettuce that was on strike, and we would stand out in front of Safeway and other supermarkets with our red flags with the black eagle on them, And ask customers, you know, not to go into the store, not to buy the products that farmworkers were on strike against.And I got really interested in. I'm curious about the workers that we were supporting. You know, I grew up in Oakland and so I didn't know anything about farm workers, really. I didn't know anything about rural California, rural areas, didn't speak Spanish didn't know much about Chicano, Latinos.Oakland's a pretty diverse city, but in the area of Oakland where I grew up in you know, in our high school, you know, the students were African American or they were white, and that was a big racial question in, in school when I was in high school. So I grew up not knowing any of these things.[00:03:00] And Because I was involved in, you know, standing out in front of these stores and supporting workers, I, you know, began wondering, who are these workers that we're supporting? And eventually, I went to work for the union. I asked a lawyer friend of mine who was in their legal department if they needed any help, and of course he said yes.I went down to, Oxnard and de Santamaria began working for the union, originally taking statements from workers who had been fired because of their union activity. I didn't know much Spanish, so I had to learn Spanish on the job. Fortunately, you know, the workers were very patient with me and would help me learn, help me correct my still bad pronunciation and bad grammar.And, and I began to learn. And that process has been going on ever since, really. That was a, that was a formative time in my life. It taught me a lot of [00:04:00] things. It taught me about, you know, the culture of. farm workers who were mostly Mexican in those years, but there were still a good number of Filipino workers working in the fields.That eventually led me to the woman I eventually married, my wife, who was the daughter of of immigrants from the Philippines from a farm worker family. So I learned about that culture and I began learning about immigration, which I hadn't really known anything about growing up. Why people come to the U.S., what happens to people here. I, I saw my first immigration raid. When I was an organizer, I later became an organizer for the union as my Spanish got better. And I remember going to talk to a group of workers that I had met with the previous night, who were worked up in palm trees picking dates.And I went down to the date grove, this was in the Coachella Valley, and there was this big green van, and there were the [00:05:00] workers who I'd been talking to the previous night being loaded into the van. I was just You know, really shocked. The van took off. I followed the van all the way down to the Imperial Valley, to El Centro, where the detention center was.Stood outside the center trying to figure out what the hell is going on here. What am I going to do? What's going to happen to these people? And that was sort of an introduction to the meaning of being undocumented, what it meant to people, what could happen. And that made me an immigrant rights activist, which I've also been ever since, too.But also, over time, I got interested in the reasons why people were coming to the U. S. to begin with. You know, what people were finding here when people got here was very, very difficult work, low pay, immigration raids, police harassment, at least, and sometimes worse than that, poverty. You know, Why leave Mexico if this is what you're going to find?[00:06:00] And it also made me curious about the border. And so that also began something that has continued on in all those years since. I eventually went to the border, went to Mexico, began getting interested and involved in Mexican labor politics, supporting unions and workers in Mexico, you know, doing work on the border itself.After the Farm Workers Union, I worked for other unions for A number of years and they were generally reunions where the workers who were trying to join and we were trying to help were immigrants. So the government workers union, the women in the sweatshops sewing clothes or union for factory workers.And so my job was basically to help workers organize and. Organizing a union in the United States is like well, you know, people throw around this word, you know, this phrase class war and class warfare pretty freely, but it is like a war. You know, when [00:07:00] workers get together and they decide they want to change conditions and they want to you know, get the company to, speak to them and to deal with them in an organized way.They really do have to kind of go, go to war or be willing to, for the company to go to war with them. You know, really what people are asking for sometimes is pretty minimal, you know, wage raises or fair treatment at work or a voice at work. You know, you think, you know, what's wrong with that. But generally speaking when employers get faced with workers who want to do that they do everything possible to try and stop them.Including firing people and harassing people, calling them to meetings, threatening people, scaring people. You know, there's a whole industry in this country that consists of union consultants who do nothing but, you know, advise big companies about how to stop workers when they, when they try to organize.So that's what I did for about 20 years. Was help workers to get organized, form a union, get their bus to sit down and talk [00:08:00] to them, go out on strike, do all those kinds of things. And eventually I decided that I wanted to do something else. And I, I was already involved in, you know, starting to take photographs.I would carry a camera and I would take pictures of what we were doing as workers. We would joke about it, kind of. I would tell workers, well, you know, we're going to take some pictures here and you can take them home to your family and show them, you know, that you're really doing what's right here and 20 years from now you'll show your grandkids that, you know, when the time came, you stood up and you did what was right and people would joke with each other about it.And I discovered also that you could use them to get support for what we were doing. You know, we could get an article published in a newspaper somewhere. Some labor newspaper might run an article about us. You might get some money and some help or some food or something. But after a while, you know, I began [00:09:00] realizing that these photographs, they had a value beyond that.And that was that they were documenting this social movement that was taking place among immigrants
On this episode of The End of Tourism Podcast, my guest is Macià Blázquez-Salom, a professor at the University of the Balearic Islands, who specializes in the Geography of Tourism, Territorial Planning, Sustainability and Degrowth. He utilizes his teaching and research activity in the environmental movement (and vice versa), and through his activism in the Grupo Balear de Ornitología y Defensa de la Naturaleza (GOB) and Alba Sud.Show NotesMacia’s Journey in the BalearicsThe Beginning of Mass Tourism through Currency DevaluationContradictions in MallorcaCocoon Tourism in SpainYou Want to Work in the Balearics, You Have to Sleep in a TentBoosterism and Green BoosterismDegrowth Definitions and ContradictionsImagining Other Modes of TravelImagining Other Modes of ResistanceHomeworkGoogle Scholar: Macia BlasquezOrcid: Connecting Researchers with ResearchersMacia Blasquez’s UIB SiteTranscript[00:00:00] Chris: Welcome Macia, to the podcast. From what I've been able to dig up around your life and work that you've been studying, tourism and its contradictions for a very long time. Now, I'd like to ask you what drove you towards a career as a professor and critic of the tourism industry?[00:00:24] Macia: Well, in fact, even before finishing my degree, I was involved in social movements here in the Balearics, in Mallorca, particularly. I was member of the committee of the volunteers collaborating with the GOB, which is the biggest ecologist group. Then by the eighties and perhaps influenced by this collaboration, I decided to study geography and to analyze the relation in between tourism and natural conservation, because by then we had promotion after the tourism boom in the sixties and seventies.The eighties Spain became member of the European Union and some of our politicians, they decided and they were promoting the Balearics as second residents destination for north European people, and this means that investment in the real estate market even increased with foreign people buying second residencies and promoting as well the promotion of more urban development for this purpose.And that was written in the natural areas due to what we call "green" or "gray-grabbing" with new facilitation of land here in the Balearics. And this was the main aim I had to develop my research on this topic, with special planning and natural conservation in the Balearics.Afterwards we had what we called the real estate bubble that began in the nineties and burst in 2008. And that was a period when I was more involved, particularly in the social movements. In fact I feel more related with activism than with academia. After the crisis with my age, I took the decision of giving support to younger people in the social movements and devote more time to the academia with colleagues Ivan Murray or Ernest Canada or Robert Fletcher or Nora Muller, other people who are working in this research group in the University of the Balearics Islands. But I still working with the NGOs Alba Sud, particularly the GOB, and other social movements in this region in the Western Mediterranean region particularly. [00:03:03] Chris: I have some questions regarding these social movements that I think maybe we'll get to in just a bit.But, I'd like to try to offer a bit of context for our listeners in part because before I heard of your name and before I interviewed our mutual friend Ivan, for the first episode of the podcast, I don't think I had ever heard of Palma or Mallorca before, even as someone who had traveled through Europe and many other parts of the Mediterranean.And so I'm curious if you could give us a bit of background on how Palma came to be over touristed, or at the very least, what you've seen come to pass in your time there. I mean, I know it's, it is also historically has a lot of deep importance for the Spanish state and Mediterranean history culture.[00:03:55] Macia: I'm sure you have heard about the dictatorship of Franco in the forties, fifties. Mm-hmm. Fifties. He was given support to the Luther in the second World War. And after the defeat, the technical support he had was coming from Opus Dei, was introducing tourism and real estate business as a way to have foreign direct investment.And as a result, Spain had a very important development of, of real estate business in this new areas particularly related with sun and sea tourist resorts. Perhaps you have heard about Costa Del Sol, Benidorm in Costa Blanca, or Costa Brava in Catalonia. And the same for the Balearic Islands. During that period, in the case of of M we had a huge amount of new hotels being double developed.And they were financed partly by people coming from North Europe, particularly from Germany. There was a novel accumulation of capital in that, in those regions that have had industrial development and investors realized that tourism could be a good business, introducing this way of consuming savings, consuming income for working class people in the UK, in Germany, and this is how in the Balearics we had the development of what we call the tourist boom in the sixties with hundreds of hotel being built up every month really in Mallorca, in Ibiza. Perhaps you have heard about Ibiza, right? [00:05:52] Chris: And this is just to be clear, this is in the first decade of international mass tourism post-war, correct?[00:06:01] Macia: In the Sixties, because the two first decades after the war, our regime, the dictatorship of Franco was defeated. I mean, they were given support to Hitler and Mussolini and Spain was set aside. And the model they were following was self-sufficiency. We became members of the UN United Nations by the end of the Fifties when Franco decided to take this option of promoting foreign investment, making the change of currency with the foreign currencies possible.And it was through devaluation of the peseta, this means that investing from the UK, Germany, or even the United States, or for tourists coming to Spain, visiting our country, was so cheap due to this devaluation of the currency. And this way we had that mass tourism development and mass foreign investment, foreign investment and flows of people coming here for holidays and enterprises developing their activities for profit.This was the beginning and the result were that after all those years, we now have eight hundred thousand tourist beds in the B alearics and we had 16.5 million tourists last year in the Balearics, 2022. And this is a huge amount of tourists for an archipelago that just has. 5,000 square kilometers, 1.1 million inhabitants.Most of our tourists are coming from the UK. Let's say 25%. Germany, another 25%. This means 8 million tourists coming from Germany. Then we have 13% coming from mainland to Spain. And then we have people from Scandinavia, Norway, Sweden Denmark, the Netherlands. They come here looking for sun warm weather conditions during the summertime, particularly during the high season.This is July, August, September. This is when we are having more over crowded beaches, traffic jams in the roads and the touristification of every single place in our islands. Because by the beginning, tourists were going particularly to the tourist resorts. But nowadays the countryside, natural areas, villages and, and even the historical center of the cities is being touristified.You can find boutiques, you can find terraces of bars and restaurants, all of them changing very quickly, the landscape and the way of life of our places. [00:09:17] Chris: At what point in your life did you arrive in the Balearics, in Mallorca, or are you from there?[00:09:23] Macia: I'm from the Balearics. The mother of my father Fr was from Palma. And the parents of my mother were from M and I was grown here. It's quite common in places like Balearics to have roots, to have grown people is not moving that much. Right. I attended my degree and I finished my PhD thesis, and now I have my job here and this is common. We're not moving that much. [00:09:54] Chris: Well, it's a bit of a blessing to hear that there are people in the world still who live in the same place they were born, which is more and more rare. I guess I'm curious, you know, over the course of your life then, in Palma, is there one thing that you might be able to single out as perhaps the most startling or biggest or devastating change that you've seen there?[00:10:19] Macia: Yeah. Well in fact it has to do with my political position during that moment because we had a right wing go government from 2003 to 2007 with Lots of cases of corruption related with mega pr This means projects with a budget higher to 1000 million euros. They were projects to promote highways, to promote big infrastructure, transport infrastructure, a new harbors, enlarging the airport equipment.Instead of refurbishing the hospital, they decided to build a new hospital. And this is nice, but at the same time, they were meeting and we have collected information about those meetings to arrange, Communicating in between big entrepreneurs and politicians. Where and how was that development going to be?And they were changing this information to give advantage to the investors in a way which is nowadays considered as corruption. Many of those politicians are even nowadays in jail because of those cases. And during that period I was involved as a representative, as a volunteer giving support to the campaigns for the right to the island, demanding the politicians and the public institutions and the entrepreneurs not to follow with that promotion which was jeopardizing our land promoting socio-spatial segregation destroying natural habitats. That was the peak of the real estate bubble. Just before 2008 when I was involved. We were preparing something which is called a popular initiative to the parliament.I was myself defending the initiative in the regional parliament which was in fact making a proposal not to allow more enlargement of the transport infrastructure, enlargement of the urban
On this episode of the pod, my guest is Penny Travlou, a Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor in Cultural Geography and Theory (Edinburgh School of Architecture & Landscape Architecture, Edinburgh College of Art/University of Edinburgh). Her research focuses on social justice, the commons, collaborative practices, intangible cultural heritage and ethnography. She has been involved in international research projects funded by the EU and UK Research Councils. For the past eight years, she has been working with independent art organisations in Colombia and most recently in the African continent to understand the commons from a decolonial perspective and to look at commoning practices within artistic forms while understanding the specificities of the commons rooted in various socio-cultural and geographical contexts. As an activist, she has been involved in a number of grassroots and self-organised initiatives on housing and refugees’ rights in Greece.Show NotesGreek Elections and the Rise of the Ultra-RightExarcheia and the Student Uprisings of 1974An Olympic Tourism Plan for AthensMass Tourism Consumption in ExarcheiaGovernment Plans to Dismantle Local Social MovementsThe Greek Golden VisaAARG and Community Action Against GentrificationFortress EuropeWhen Will the Bubble Burst?Advice for Tourists; Advice for OrganizingHomeworkPenny Travlou University of Edinburgh WebsiteAARG! AthensPenny’s TwitterTranscript[00:00:00] Chris: Good morning, Penny, from Oaxaca. How are you today? [00:00:04] Penny: Very good. Good afternoon from Athens, Chris. [00:00:07] Chris: So perhaps you could share with me and our listeners a little bit more about where you find yourself today in Athens and what life looks like for you there. You mentioned that you had local elections yesterday.[00:00:19] Penny: Yes, I am located in the neighborhood of Exarcheia but towards the borders of it to a hill, Lycabettus Hill. And I am originally from Athens, from Greece, but I've been away for about 20 years, studying and then working in the UK and more specifically in Scotland.So the last eight years, since 2015, I've been coming and going between the two places, which I consider both home. And yes, yesterday we had the elections for the government. So we basically got, again, reelected the conservatives, which are called New Democracy, which is a neoliberal party, but also government also with patriotic, let's say, crescendos and anti-immigration agenda.And at the same time, we have first time, a majority in parliament of the, not even the central, but the right wing, in the Parliament. So it's 40%, this party and another three which are considered basically different forms of ultra- right. And one of them is a new conglomeration, from the previous, maybe, you know, or your audience Golden Dawn, which is a neo- Nazi party, which was basically banned and it's members went to us to prison as members of a gang, basically.But now through, I don't want to go into much detail, managed to get a new party called the Spartans, which obviously you can think what that means, plus two more parties, smaller parties, which are inclined towards very fundamentally religiously and ethnic focus, meaning, you know, anti immigration.And then it's the almost like the complete collapse of the radical left that is represented by Syriza. The Communist Party is always stable. You know, it's the fourth party. So anyway, we, it's a bit of a shock right now. I haven't spoken with comrades. Not that we are supporters of Syriza, but definitely change the picture of what we're doing as social movements and what it means to be part of a social movement right now.So there will be lots of things happening for sure in the next four years with this new not government. The government is not new cause it's the current one, just being reelected, but the new situation in the Parliament. [00:03:02] Chris: Hmm. Wow. Wow. Well, perhaps it's a moment like in so many places, to begin anew, organizing on the grassroots level.You know, there's so many instances around the world and certainly in Southern Europe where we're constantly reminded of the context in which local governments and top-down decision makings simply no longer works.And that we need to organize on a grassroots level. And so I'm really grateful that you've been willing to speak with us today and speak with us to some of these social movements that have arisen in Athens and Greece, in Exarcheia around the notions of immigration as well as tourism.And so to begin, you mentioned that you've been traveling for the last half decade or so back and forth and I'd like to ask you first of all, what have your travels taught you about the world, taught you about how you find yourself in the world?[00:04:02] Penny: Very good question. Thank so much for raising it because I won't say about my personal history, but my father was, actually passed away a couple of years ago, was a captain in the merchant Navy. So for me, the idea of travel is very much within my family. So, the idea of having a parent travel, receiving letters before emails from far away places was always kind of the almost like the imagination of the other places, but also reality.So, when myself become an adult and moved to the UK specifically, to study and then work. This became my own work and my own life reality because I had dramatically to live between two places. So, it was almost this idea of not belonging and belonging. This concept from in both places, but also the specific type of research, because, I haven't mentioned that my day job is an academic. I am currently, equivalent in the United States will be associate professor in geography, but in the school of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. But the type of research I do request me to travel a lot. I'm looking on the idea of collaborative practices in emerging networks of artists, digital artists, specifically activists and trans-local migrants.So what it means actually to connect and to collaborate and to share knowledge and co-produce knowledges. Actually knowledge travels. So everything in my life, in the last two decades is around this, let alone that my own PhD was about tourism. I was looking on tourist images and myths, myths in metaphorically speaking of representations of Athens before the Olympic Games of 2004.So the journey and the travel and tourism is very much part of what I do in my day job, but also on other things I do personally. So what I learned through this is, first of all, maybe it's very common to say that without travel, knowledge doesn't travel.So, how we basically do things and flourish and develop ideas is through the sharing and sharing travels very much. So, movement is totally important. [00:06:37] Chris: I think that, for so many of us who have taken a critical eye and, and looked to the critical eyes around tourism and over tourism in the tourism industry, that there is this sense that things can be different and things must be different.To find a way to look towards, as you said, some sense of collaboration, some sense of interculturality, some sense of working together so that our earthly movements can produce honorable connections and meetings as opposed to just this kind of flippant and flacid kind of turns style travel.And so, I've invited you on the pod, in part, today, to speak about this neighborhood that you're in Exarcheia in Athens, in Greece. And you know, I imagine that many of our listeners have never heard of this, this neighborhood before, but many in Greece and many, many in Athens have, certainly. And I'm wondering if you could offer our listeners a little bit of background in regards to why Exarcheia is such a unique place and why it attracts so much attention politically in terms of social movements and also with tourists.Mm-hmm. [00:07:53] Penny: The history of Exarcheia is quite long in the sense with where it is in the very center of Athens. So if somebody basically get the Google map, you will see that the neighborhood is in walking distance from the Greek parliament. And Syntagma Square, which is another important square with regards to movements.It became very known in later years in the 2010s due to not only riots demonstrations that happened in what we now call the square movement. It started from Spain, to put it this way, and then to Greece, as well, in Athens. So Exarcheia is very central, but also it was since, postwar, it was a bohemic neighborhood.Lots of artists related to the left or at that point to communist party, et cetera, were living here, but also there were theaters, independent theaters, the printing houses. So we have a number still of Publishing houses that they are located in various parts of the Exarcheia neighborhood. So it has put its imprint into the Athenian urban history for quite a number of decades. And when I say Communist party, the communist Party was not legal at the time, when we say postwar. But, we had people inclined towards the left, like intellectuals, et cetera.Then with the dictatorship that happened in 1967-19 74, that's when first time really it gets, it's a real place in the political side of not only of the left, but also generally speaking of the political milieu and situation in Greece and abroad, and became very known due to the uprising, the student uprising against the dictatorship or otherwise, as we call it, junta in 1974, where here in Exarcheia is also the National Technical University of Athens, which is known also as a Polytechnic, where it was basically the uprising against the dictatorship with students basically rioting, but also died. So, it became an iconic part of the student movements since then in Greece. So, since the seventies.People can Google search or YouTube. They will see various documentaries dedicated specifically to that student uprising. And through that, after the dictatorship, one thing which was added in the Constitution and now has changed with this current government is
On this episode, my guest is Barbara from No Name Kitchen, an independent movement working alongside the Balkans and the Mediterranean routes to promote humanitarian aid and political action for those who suffer the difficulties of extreme journeys and violent push-backs.Their actions include medical care, distributions of food and clothes, legal support and the denunciation of abuses at the borders, where thousands of human beings keep suffering violence, fatigue and sickness during their migratory processes.No Name Kitchen was born in Belgrade by winter 2017 when a group of volunteers started cooking in Belgrade alongside the thousands of people who were fending for themselves after the closure of the Hungarian frontier. Since then, NNK supports those who suffer the lack of safe and legal pathways, collecting testimonies and denouncing the systematic use of institutional violence at the borders.Show NotesNo Name Kitchen: What’s in a Name?Social Media as a Tool for OrganizingThe KitcheneersIt’s a Border Crisis, not a Migration CrisisWhy do People Seek Asylum in EuropeHow the EU is Breaking its Own LawsBorder Violence in the BalkansWhat are Pushbacks?The Silence of Big-Name NGOsFrom Hospitality to Hostility: A Story in KladusaMigrants as Puppets in Political WarsThe EU’s Racist Immigration ActionsThe Lives of NNK’s Guests After the BorderHomeworkNo Name Kitchen Website - Facebook - Instagram - TwitterVolunteer w/ No Name KitchenLatitude Adjustment Program Podcast episode w/ No Name KitchenTranscript[00:00:00] Chris: Welcome, Barbara, to the End of Tourism Podcast. Thank you for joining us on behalf of No Name Kitchen. [00:00:07] Barbara: Thank you very much, Chris.[00:00:10] Chris: I'd love it if we could start off with you telling us where you find yourself today, both geographically and perhaps emotionally as well. What does the world look like for you?[00:00:21] Barbara: So, actually in a very interesting place because I am visiting one friend who was living with me in Bosnia, who's one of the persons that started with me and developed with me the project of No Name Kitchen in Bosnia. And so I'm visiting her that we didn't see her for the last four years because we're all the time very busy with our lives and with our different projects.So I'm here with her these days with plan to head to Croatia next week. Because the political context changed in the borders a little bit in the last month and now there are people on the move in that are passing through Rijeka, this one Croatian city, and I want to go to see the situation there.And then maybe, if I find the time, I will also head Kladusa and Bihac that are the border areas of Bosnia where I used to live in the past and where I spend a lot of time with my life there. [00:01:14] Chris: Mm. Interesting. And you're from Spain originally, is that correct? [00:01:18] Barbara: Yeah, I'm from Spain and normally I, I spend the most of the time in Spain in the last years because sometimes you need a break from the border. Emotionally I feel very well as well because I'm with my friend who is a brilliant person and I adore her. She was a perfect colleague you know, when you're at the border, the life is very tough. You see a lot of people suffering.But having her as a colleague, it was beautiful thing because we gave too much support to each other. [00:01:44] Chris: What a blessing. What a blessing. Mm. [00:01:47] Barbara: I was very lucky. [00:01:49] Chris: Well, I know that a lot of the work that No Name Kitchen does is based in the Balkans and as well in Ceuta in Spain. And we'll come to those regions momentarily.But I'd like to ask you first why no name Kitchen? Why a kitchen without a name? [00:02:07] Barbara: It's a very nice story because No Name Kitchen was born in a very informal way. You know, it is not actually an organization. It's a movement of people. And there are different organizations registered in different countries, but itself No Name Kitchen is a movement of people helping people. And in 2017, so let's make a little bit of context. In 2016, European Union sent money to Turkey to close the border of the Balkans. Yeah. So, in the beginning of 2017, in the winter, many people found themselves in Serbia. They were trying to migrate to go to some country in Europe, and then they found themselves in Serbia with the borders of European Union closed. And many people like were activists that went to Greece to help people on the move because they knew the situation or what was happening since 2015.You probably remember in 2015 all this amount of people that were going from Turkey to somewhere in Europe to ask for asylum, to seek international protection. So many people were in Greece helping. They got information that in the city center of Belgrade, which is the capital city of Serbia, they were like more than 1000 people, mainly from Afghanistan at that moment, many of them minors with no parents, living in the old train station in a very bad conditions. And the weather was horrible. It was super cold. It was probably one of the coldest winters of the last years. So they just went there. They got some food from an organization. They went there and they saw a horrible situation where no one of the big institutional organizations were helping.So then, they, with these posts that they had and asking for, help in social media, in their own social media, people start sending money and they start cooking right away. So, then they found this group of activists from many countries found themselves cooking every day and also together with people on the move and distributing food every day, every night.And then one day, they were like, this seems like an organization. We actually are kind of organization. And then one guy, one from Afghanistan, he wrote on the wall with a spray kitchen. No, because it's like, we have a kitchen, we have an organization, but we have no name. And then it's the same guy.He wrote "No Name," and then it was like, "No Name Kitchen." And it just stay like this. I think it's amazing. It's a very pure name and it really shows what is the way No Name Kitchen movement works. Its informal way of people cooperating and doing things together and helping each other.[00:04:31] Chris: And so in that context, it was a spontaneous organization of people, or how did they, I mean, obviously people heard about this, but how did they come to organize together? [00:04:41] Barbara: Social media is most instant thing, right? So, they opened this facebook profile, and then they say, what is going on. Some journalists started going there because these activists started talking about the situation. So, journalism and photojournalists went there and start showing the images. Mm-hmm. Oh, because it was really like minus 20 degrees and things like that. And people were living in the old train station and were using this wood from the old train station that has this liquid that is toxic.So it was pretty awful. And also at the same time, the activists start hearing all these stories about the pushbacks, which is, yeah, something I would keep denouncing, since then, that is when people try to enter European Union, police will push them back to Serbia with violence, which is totally illegal.So yeah, it was just people that were in Greece trying to help people in Greece. Finally, everybody knows everybody in this activist world, and if you don't know anyone, then you contact someone and then this person will tell you, "Ah, there is this group of people doing that."Maybe you're interested. And then with the Facebook, they started to ask for donations. They started to call for more people to go and help because the situation was a big emergency and needed more, more people. Some other people will give interviews on newspapers, for example. I was not there at the moment. I arrived some months later. And how I met No Name Kitchen is because one girl told her situation to one Spanish newspaper. I read this interview. I found like amazing what they're doing. I found them on the social media and I contacted No Name Kitchen. And then I head to Belgrade few months after. So yeah, spontaneously. [00:06:11] Chris: Within the kitchens themselves, if we can call it that, within the No Name Kitchens, what kind of people end up showing up?Are these people who are already a part of the No name Kitchen Network? Or are they local people as well? [00:06:24] Barbara: Well, we call ourselves "kitcheners." It's many different kind of people. Like really it's, it's people. People want to help. People are good, despite all the politics that surround us, there is a lot of beautiful people in this world, and they can be someone who is. Retired and he was a lawyer in his life and now he finished his work and he's 66 years old and he wants to do something and he goes to Serbia and he spends there two months. He can be someone that's 22 years old and is doing an internship for the university and decided instead of doing a very easy internship, they will come with us and face what is really the situation in Europe? It's a very wide movement of people. Some of them can come to the borders and we have a policy of minimum one month cause it makes everything easier for the work, right? But then also a kitchener is a person that is in his home or her hometown gathering beautiful clothes to send to the border so people can dress nicely and is a person that is making some event in her or his town to raise money to share, to send to the activities. And there's really a lot of people, because many people are good and many people wanna help. They understand we cannot really be living in this Europe that they are making for us, the politicians. No, we need a more human place to live. Yeah. It's true. As you mentioned before, that is more people from the south of Europe and Germany also, not so much from the north of Europe.[00:07:45] Chris: Speaking of the issues in the Balkans, in between Serbia and Turkey
On this episode, my guest is Nick Hunt, the author of three travel books about journeys by foot, including Outlandish: Walking Europe's Unlikely Landscapes. His articles have appeared in The Guardian, Emergence, The Irish Times, New Internationalist, Resurgence & Ecologist and other publications. He works as an editor and co-director for the Dark Mountain Project. His latest book is an alternate history novel, Red Smoking Mirror.Show NotesAwe and the Great SecretOn Focus, Sight and SubjectivityThe Almost Lost Art of WalkingPilgrimage and the Half Way PointWhat if Left of Old-School Hospitality in our Times?When Borders Matter LessHospitality and PainThe Costs of InterculturalityAsking Permission: On Not Being WelcomeFriendship, Hospitality, and ExchangeHomeworkNick Hunt’s Official WebsiteRed Smoking MirrorEssay: Bulls and ScarsTranscript[00:00:00] Chris Christou: Welcome Nick to the End of Tourism podcast. Thank you so very much for joining us today. [00:00:05] Nick Hunt: Very nice to be here, Chris. [00:00:07] Chris Christou: I have a feeling we're in for a very special conversation together. To begin, I'm wondering if you could offer us a glimpse into your world today, where you find yourself, and how the times seem to be rolling out in front of you, where you are.[00:00:22] Nick Hunt: Wow, that's a good, that's a good question. Geographically, I'm in Bristol, in the southwest of England, which is the city I grew up in and then moved away from and have come back to in the last five or so years. The city that I sat out the pandemic, which was quite a tough one for various reasons here and sort of for me personally and my family.But the last year really has just felt like everyone's opening out again and it feels... it's kind of good and bad. There was something about that time, I don't want to plunge straight into COVID because I'm sure everyone's sick of hearing about it, but the way it, it froze the world and froze people's personal lives and it froze all the good stuff, but it also froze a lot of the more difficult questions.So, I think in terms of kind of my wider work, which is often, focused around climate change, extinction, the state of the planet in general, the pandemic was, was oddly, you didn't have to think about the other problems for a while, even though they were still there. It dominated the airspace so much that everything else just kind of stopped.And now I find that in amongst all the joy of kind of friends emerging again and being able to travel, being able to meet people, being able to do stuff, there's also this looming feeling of like, the other problems are also waking up and we're looking at them again. [00:01:56] Chris Christou: Yeah. We have come back time to time in the last year or two in certain interviews of the pod and, and reflected a little bit on those times and considered that there was, among other things, it was a time where there was the possibility of real change. And I speak more to the places that have become tourist destinations, especially over touristed and when those people could finally leave their homes and there was nobody there that there was this sense of Okay, things could really be different [00:02:32] Nick Hunt: Yeah.As well. Yeah. I know there, there was a kind of hope wasn't there that, "oh, we can change, we can, we can act in, in a huge, unprecedented way." Maybe that will transfer to the environmental problems that we face. But sadly that didn't happen. Or it didn't happen yet. [00:02:53] Chris Christou: Well, time will tell. So Nick, I often ask my guests to begin with a bit of background on how their own travels have influenced their work, but since so much of your writing seems to revolve around your travels, I've decided to make that the major focus of our time together. And so I'd like to begin with your essay Bulls and Scars, which appears in issue number 14 of Dark Mountain entitled TERRA, and which was republished in The Best British Travel Writing of the 21st Century.[00:03:24] Nick Hunt: A hyperbolic, a hyperbolic title, I have to say. [00:03:29] Chris Christou: And in that exquisite essay on the theme of wanderlust, you write, and I quote, "always this sense, when traveling, will I find it here? Will the great secret reveal itself? Is it around the next corner? There is never anything around the next corner except the next corner, but sometimes I catch fragments of it.This fleeting thing I am looking for. That mountainside, that's a part of it there. The way the light falls on that wall. That old man sitting under a mulberry tree with his dog sleeping at his feet. That's a part of the secret too. If I could fit these pieces together, I would be completed. Waking on these sacks of rice, I nearly see the shape of it. The outlines of the secret loom, extraordinary and almost whole. I can almost touch it. I think. Yes, this is it. I am here. I have arrived, but I have not arrived. I am traveling too fast. The moment has already gone, the truck rolls onwards through the night, and the secret slides away.This great secret, Nick, that spurs so much of our wanderlust. I'm curious, where do you imagine it comes from personally, historically, or otherwise? [00:04:59] Nick Hunt: Wow. Wow. Thank you for reading that so beautifully. That was an attempt to express something that I think I've always, I've always felt, and I imagine everybody feels to some extent that sense of, I guess you could describe it as "awe," but this sense that I, I first experienced this when I was a kid.I was about maybe six, five or six years old, maybe seven. I can't remember. Used to spend a lot of time in North Wales where my grandparents lived and my mum would take me up there and she loved walking. So we'd go for walks and we were coming back from a walk at the end of a day. So it was mountains. It was up in Snowdonia.And I have a very vivid memory of a sunset and a sheep and a lamb and the sky being red and gold in sense that now I would describe it as awe, you know, the sublime or something like that. I had no, no words for it. I just knew it was very important that I, I stayed there for a bit and, and absorbed it.So I refused to walk on. And my mom, I'll always be grateful for this. She didn't attempt to kind of pull my hand and drag me back to the car cuz she probably had things to do. But she walked on actually and out of sight and left me just to kind of be there because she knew that this was an important thing.And for me, that's the start of, of the great secret. I think this sense of wanting to be inside the world. I've just been reading some Ursula LeGuin and there's a short story in her always coming home. I think it's called A Hole in the Air. And it's got this kind of conceit of a man stepping outside the world and he kind of goes to a parallel version of his world and it's the one in which some version of us lives.And it's the kind of, you know, sort of fucked up war-like version where everything's kind of terrible and polluted, dangerous and violent and he can't understand it. But this idea of he's gone outside the world and he can't find his way back in. And I think this is a theme in a lot of indigenous people.This idea of kind of being inside something and other cultures being outside. I think a lot, all of my writing and traveling really has been about wanting to get inside and kind of understand something. I don't know. I mean, I dunno what the secret is because it's a secret and what I was writing about in that essay was, I think in my twenties particularly, I kind of imagined that I could find this if I kept moving.The quicker the better because you're covering more ground and more chance of finding something that you're looking for, of knowing what's around the next corner, what's over the next hill. You know, even today I find it very difficult to kind of turn back on a walk before I've got to the top of a hill or some point where I can see what's coming next.It feels like something uncompleted and then I'm sure, as I imagine you did, you know, you were describing to me earlier about traveling throughout your twenties and always kind of looking for this thing and then realizing, what am I actually, you know, what am I doing? What am I actually looking for?Mm-hmm. So I still love traveling, obviously, but I don't feel this kind youthful urge just to keep moving, keep moving, keep moving, see more things, you know, experience more. And then I think you learn when you get a bit older that maybe that's not the way to find whatever it is that you are kind of restless for.Maybe that's when you turn inside a little bit more. And certainly my travels now are kind of shorter and slower than they were before, but I find that there's a better quality of focus in the landscapes or places that before I would've kind of dismissed and rushed through are now endlessly fascinating.And allowing more time to kind of stay in a place has its own value. [00:09:19] Chris Christou: Well, blessings to your mother. What's her name if I can ask? Her name's Caroline. It's the same name as my wife. So it's a source of endless entertainment for my friends. Well, thank you, Caroline, for, for that moment, for allowing it to happen.I think for better or worse, so many of us are robbed of those opportunities as children. And thinking recently about I'll have certain flashbacks to childhood and that awe and that awe-inspiring imagination that seems limitless perhaps for a young child and is slowly waned or weaned as we get older.So thank you to your mother for that. I'm sure part of the reason that we're having this conversation today. And you touched a little bit on this notion of expectation and you used the word focus as well, and I'm apt to consider more and more the the question of sight and how it dominates so much of our sense perception and our sense relationships as we move through our lives and as we move across the world.And so I'd like to bring up another little excerp
On this episode of the End of Tourism Podcast, I’m joined by Joana and Davide of Stop Despejos (Stop Evictions). Based in Lisbon (Portugal), Stop Despejos is an anti-capitalist, feminist and anti-racist, horizontal political collective, fighting for the right to housing and the right to the city. Through mutual aid, direct action, obstruction of evictions and media campaigns, they defend the right of inhabitants to keep living in their homes and neighborhoods against institutional racism, soaring rental prices, the commodification of housing, touristification and gentrification.As an autonomous grassroots movement, Stop Despejos believes that a trulyinclusive city can only be achieved by collective organization and solidarity networks between its inhabitants.Show NotesThe Question of Rent in LisbonThe Arrival of Ryan Air and Airbnb in PortugalThe Golden Visa SchemeThe Backlash Against ForeignersCan be Change Happen Through Political Parties or Only at the Grassroots?How to Build Solidarity in a CommunityHow Can We Live More Meaningfully?HomeworkStop Despejos Official WebsiteStop Despejos YouTubeStop Despejos FacebookAldrava Co-opHousing Not ProfitTranscript[00:00:00] Chris: Good morning, Joanna and Davide to the end of Tourism podcast. Thanks for joining me today.[00:00:07] Davide: Thank you. Good morning, chris. Oh, good afternoon.[00:00:10] Joana: Thank you for having, yes, good afternoon. Thank you for having us.[00:00:14] Chris: My pleasure, my honor. Now, I'd like, since we're always doing this virtually, and since there's always time zones to deal with and that kind of thing, I'm hoping that you'd both be able to illustrate a little about where you find yourselves today and what the world looks like there a few days after these mass demonstrations that we'll discuss shortly.[00:00:37] Joanne: Yes, well, I'm I'm in Alfama which is a really old neighborhood in the center of Lisbon. Actually Davide lives in the same neighborhood. And today, the weather is great. It's really sunny and you start to see a lot of tourists. You start to notice that you know, these amounts of tourists that we were used to see before the pandemic starts showing up again.And honestly, I'm still recovering from the, the demonstration during the weekend because we were what, like three months working for this demonstration, probably around three, four months. So yeah, it was a lot of hard work, but it was worth it at the end for sure.[00:01:27] Davide: I, I am in the same neighborhood in Alfama, and the sky is perfectly blue. It's classic Lisbon. It's a city that everybody loves.[00:01:38] Chris: Thank you, David. Debbie Day. Thank you, Joanna. And so you both come to us today on behalf of an organization called Stop Despejos. Now, before we get into the gritty details of the demonstrations, I'm wondering if you two would be willing to share a bit about the history of the organization, why it was started, and perhaps when and by whom,[00:02:07] Davide: Yeah, it, it's called Stop Despejos. It just means "stop eviction." It was founded in in 2017, about six years ago because at that time... In 2012, during Troika there was, after, after the financial crisis crisis in Portugal, I mean all over the world in Portugal the International Monetary Fund and the European Union understood that there was a great opportunity for real estate market in tourism in Portugal.And so they convinced the government, the right-wing government to change the law about renting. And it was much, much simpler to evict people. Mm-hmm. It has become much simpler and one of the ways is actually not to renew contracts. Okay. So the contract normally lasts five years. So just five years after the new law, all people were evicted. And so including myself, and that's why we founded this organization. Wow. Joanna, do you have anything to add in that regard?[00:03:18] Joana: Yes, I joined during 2018, so about an year after David joined. Actually, I also got evicted and it kind of started because of that, like I was in a really old place in the center.And my landlord wanted to increase the rent for more than 300 euros. Wow. So that's the thing, like. There is no rent control happening in Portugal. If you are landlord and if your house is falling apart you can ask for whichever price you desire.So, by that time I was doing some research, like thinking to myself, this cannot be legal. Like this is insane. And then I found out that it was indeed legal. And then I was doing another research to see if someone was fighting against this. So that's how I, I found out about Stop Despejos.And by that time, my ex-boyfriend also had some issues with this landlord. So, yeah, that's how I got to Stop Despejos I'm there since 2018. It's also an autonomous collective. So we are not connected to any political party. We are self-sufficient. And we are anti-capitalist as well.And we also work together with Habita, which is also a housing rights association that also fights, evictions, and provides legal advice to people that are on the risk of addiction. Mm-hmm.[00:05:01] Chris: Yeah. And that name popped up as well, Habita, in some of the news press releases that came out regarding the demonstrations of this past weekend.And so maybe we could start from there while it's still fresh in your minds with these recent actions that were organized by, Stop Despejo s. Nice. That came to pass this weekend and, and culminated in, in marches and protests on the 1st of April.My first question is what did each of you see over the course of the protests and what has been the response in the aftermath?[00:05:37] Joana: So this protest was organized not only by Stop Despejos and Habita was also by a lot of different collectives and associations, not only the housing rights collectives, also people that got in involved, dozens of different organizations that were preparing and working for this protest.We got around 20,000 people on the streets. I'm not good with numbers. David is the mathematician. But yes, around 20,000 people on the streets, which is massive for Portugal, to be honest.There wasn't the housing rights protests in Lisbon. I think the last one was organized by Stop Despejos and Habita, which was during 2018, if I'm not mistaken. So yes, personally I wasn't expecting that much people on the streets, but it was really beautiful to see this amount of people organized and marching the streets and asking not only for better housing, but also the right to belong to the city.You know, to have a city that it's not only made for tourists or for or for the rich or for private investors, but for a real inclusive city that is made for its people, for the people that works there, for the people that that lives there. So, that was really beautiful. It was beautiful to watch people shouting. It was really awesome.[00:07:13] Chris: I imagine that being able to see, that amount of people, and not necessarily the number, that kind of abstract 20,000, but the number of people that you would've seen in the streets as well is a really deep way to measure the discontent and the crisis as opposed to just imagining that so many people or just like a few people share these sentiments, right.[00:07:38] Joana: Yes, of course. And you would see everyone on the streets. Like, you would see people that living on the city center, but also people that live in the social neighborhoods, in the outskirts of the city as well.Like all of them together demanding better housing and a better city and rent controls. So it was, it was amazing. When I woke up the next morning, I felt really grateful, even though there was some, there was some police violence at the end of the demonstration. Still, I woke up feeling really grateful for that day, for sure.[00:08:14] Chris: Thank you. And David, how, what was your impression of the demonstrations?[00:08:21] Davide: Yeah, it was, it was impressive. Let me say that Habita is a part of a European coalition called European Action Coalition for the Right to Housing and to the City. And together with Habita, we organized the outing Action Day every year.But we could feel it, we could feel it because we have been organizing some preliminary meeting and they were full of people. I mean, you can feel this moment when the people wants to take some action and we could really feel it.It was great.[00:08:57] Chris: In fact[00:08:59] Davide: our previous campaign was called " Retomar la Ciudad" (Take Back the City). Mm. And we really felt that for one day we took the city. Mm-hmm. It, it was great because. I mean, when you are walking in such a big demonstration and you look back and you see the street full of people and you know that you and your comrades are responsible somehow for that, it, it is really an amazing feeling. And now we will see where, what will happen. This depends on us, but also on, on the willingness of other people to, to join ouraction.[00:09:38] Chris: So doing, you know, the research that I could online when I started looking up the protests Lisbon, online in the English speaking world.Anyways, there was clearly this kind of Associated Press press release that came out because every Anglophone media outlet that I could find that had put something out in this regard had the exact same wording. Yes. Right. And, and you, you can start to realize very quickly what's happening in that regard.But one of the things that was written in the press release is this as follows. And it said that"the figures released by Confi which collects data on housing shows that rents in Lisbon, which is a tourist hotspot, have jumped 65% since 2015, and sale prices have skyrocketed 137% during the same period.According to another real estate data company, Casafari, rents increased 37% last year alone, more than current figures in Barcelona or Paris," which are two of the most overt touristed or visited cities in the world."Low wages in high rents have made Lisbon the world's third least viable city
My guest on this episode is Petra Reski, a German writer and journalist who has lived in Venice since 1991. As a result of her numerous publications on the Mafia, she was subjected to lawsuits and threats, which is why she received police protection for a while. She has received numerous awards, including the prestigious Ricarda Huch Prize in 2021, which is awarded every three years to personalities whose work is characterized by independent thinking and courageous action, and who are fully committed to the ideals of humanity and international understanding.She has not only written novels, non-fiction books and numerous articles about her hometown of Venice, but also made a film already in 1998 with the prophetic title "The Last Venetians". Her most recent book is about the sell-out of Venice and has been published in Germany, Italy and France. She is a member of PEN and since 2018 has been driving a small fishing boat with which she can also park in reverse.Show NotesEveryday Life on an Overtouristed IslandThe Last VenetiansThe Fascist Political Rigging of Municipal PoliticsMurano Glass and The Death of an IslandThe Changes in Venice in the Last 30 YearsTaking Back Venice in the PandemicApril 19, 2023 Collective Action & Referendum in VeniceThe Loss of the Venetian LanguageOnce I Fell into the Grand CanalHomeworkPetra’s Website: www.petrareski.comBooks: in English: more episodes and join the conversation: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠You can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter @theendoftourismLikewise, you can join the conspiracy and support the pod by subscribing below:Transcript[00:00:00] Chris: Welcome to the end of tourism podcast, Petra. Could you tell us a little bit about where you're speaking from today and what the world looks like for you, where you are?[00:00:08] Petra: Well, actually, I'm speaking from the center of Venice, just kind of not even 300 meters to the square, San Marco Square.So in the middle of everything, what happens here because 90% of the tourists who come to Venice go to San Marco Square and to the Rialto Bridge, and that's all. So, I'm in the middle of what people consider, unfortunately, interesting for just a day trip, for example.[00:00:43] Chris: "in the belly of the beast" we, we might say in English, yes. Yeah. I mean, not to denigrate, right? I'm sure that despite the, the hordes, the masses that there's, there's beauty to be found there still.[00:01:01] Petra: Yeah. Yeah. It is. It is, of course. But let's say for us it's a little bit, how do you say it? Because what we just experienced yesterday was the 1st of May, so it's a holiday.So we had long period of holidays. The 25th of April is a national holiday. So, we have been overcrowded by people. And the problem is even if you live upon tourism, like pizzeria, whatever, you can't even organize because you can't expect today it will be the mass and tomorrow there is nothing because it's changing.Even depends on the weather. Sometimes it's raining. People don't come that much. Or in this case it was almost cloudy. Not really nice weather for a trip to Venice, but it was overcrowded for one day and the next day there's nothing. So, let's say you are organizing a pizzeria and you can't even buy things, so everything is just in the freezer.It's nothing fresh. So, even for this simple motives, it's a problem here. You can't even calculate like you do it in a normal town where people come, you have kind of periods how to, organize your work. No.[00:02:14] Chris: Yeah, certainly. I feel that in the sense of, you know, there's certain types times of year in Oaxaca as well where many of the locals here, they either stay in their homes or they leave the city for an extended time. And this is just part and parcel of what it's like to live in a tourist city and so in that regard, Petra, I wanted to ask you, you're an award-winning journalist, an author of many books, articles, and, and novels.I'm curious what drew you to Venice in the first place?[00:02:48] Petra: Well, actually, for me, for example, I didn't know anything about Venice. When I moved to Venice, I moved to Venice just for a romantic reason, because I knew a Venetian. So that's the only reason I moved to Venice. For me, it would've seemed like, I've lived in Berlin, I lived in Paris, and Venice was not the place I wanted to be actually. So, it was just a choice because I have been drove by this Venetian, who, he like all the Venetians, if he looks outside of the window and he can't see water, so he feels bad.So that's the reason why. And he's very Venetian and he's very attached to a city and to the culture, so for him it would be impossible to live anywhere else. While for me it was easier. So many people, I know so many, who come to Venice and they buy a house or apartment or whatever because it's so romantic to live in Venice.That wasn't the case for me. My romantic reasons were different, like the man I met here a long time ago. So, well I lived here in Venice and I tried to do a kind of normal life, like because I'm a journalist, so I'm not writing always about Venice. I'm, I'm traveling around in Italy and my special subject, for example, is mafia.So I'm not connected to this to tourism. I don't live upon tourism, but I just feel the consequences of tourism and as a journalist, for me it was like the experience to see, because I arrived here actually in 89, and even at the time, one of the first journalistic things I did was, for example, for the radio transmission about the so-called last Venetians, and we are talking about 30,000 Venetians more than today.We were more than 80,000 at the time. 85,000. Wow. If I remember. So, because we lose every year, thousands habitants. And that was for me, quite curious. I wanted to understand the reasons why it is like this. Mm-hmm. And for Venice, what is not almost not known at all outside of Venice, I'm not talking even about in Europe or somewhere else, but even outside a few kilometers outside of Venice, they don't know that Venice is, by a political choice at the time of fascism, there was a group of industrialists who had this good idea to say, well, Venice, it's nice.And we keep it like a museum. And we put all industry, everything, which is not really nice, attractive, we put it on the mainland. Mm-hmm. So, the petrol chemical industry, for example, the oil at the time, but it started really only in the fifties and sixties. So, they settled the whole industry on the mainland and.At one certain point it was very important for the development of Venice was in 66 when there was the first really disaster of high water in Venice. And what they did, they created at the time of fascism.The whole administration, Venice is called now Venice, which is Venice, and they call it Venice, which is not Venice because Venice, as everybody knows, is inside the water, it's island. Mm. But they consider for administration, mainland as Venice. This is very interesting because we are suffering from this monoculture of tourism.And this monoculture of tourism has been started already, kind of 30 years ago. Really, it was really the aim, the drive at a monoculture of tourism, not to do anything else, no industry, not even small industry in Venice, not more classical things like construction of boats or anything else.Just only monoculture of tourism and the reason why, because for example, if you consider the island of Murano, the Murano glass factories, as there was a, a certain moment, the Murano glass factories actually, they have a kind of problem because they live on Murano. So everything that has to be brought to the island is much more expensive than if you produce on the mainland, of course. Mm-hmm. So the European community supports regions who are for geographical reasons disadvantaged, like Murrano obviously. So they had kind of suspension and they felt fine with this, but at a certain time, of course the European community said, well actually you are not an island.You are mainland. Mm. And in this case, the mayor should have said, well, actually, it's a problem because we are both. And so if you are both, you can't have this suspensions. You can't have this money from the European country. And this was the reason why today, for example, Murano is dead.The Moran glass industry is completely dead. Yeah, they don't have any more. They even had to pay back the European community or the money they had . And so it has been a political decision just to isolate Venice and to maintain Venice just only as a kind of monoculture as a museum without.And the last obstacles in a way are the last remaining Venetians. Mm-hmm. And they have to be pulled out. And I think at the speed in which the Venetians are pushed out of the city because they don't find departments because everything is Airbnb.They don't find any job, which is not in the tourism. So it's will be completely dead in a few years, not even.[00:09:00] Chris: Wow. Those are strong words. I'd like to, return to this notion of the quote last Venetians shortly. But I'd like to ask you just to give a little bit of context as you were for our listeners.How have you seen Venice, your home, change over the last, I guess, 30, 35 years?[00:09:23] Petra: So when I arrived here, it was for me quite funny to study the Venetians in the way, because you can see Venetians, how they move differently, for example, if they move around in Venice.And at the time it was like this in the whole crowd of Venetians, you saw tourists completely disorientated, going around, didn't find the right way to go. While today it's just the opposite. It's a huge crowd. And you'll see, I see, I know who is Venetian, even if I don't know him, I can recognize the Venetian, how they move inside the crowd. They try to get around.So even, really just have a look on the crowds. You can see what chan
My guest on this episode is Dean MacCannell, a social analyst and critic whose writings on contemporary cultural arrangements have been translated worldwide. He is best known for his path-breaking book, The Tourist: A New Theory of the Leisure Class. His most recent book is 18 & Out a memoir of his childhood and youth. In this interview we discuss Dean's pioneering book The Tourist and how it rooted the entire area of critical tourism studies. We look back into mass tourism's emergence in the 1970s and 1980s, what has changed in that time, how tourists' own homes have become destinations, the loss of human connection, hyperculture, the rise of anti-tourism social movements, how we can understand ourselves and the foreigner as radically other and how that might hold they key for interculturality in our times.------------------------------------------------------Dean MacCannell's UC Davis PageThe Tourist: A New Theory of the Leisure Class18 & Out by Dean MacCannellDean's Goodreads Page------------------------------------------------------Discover more episodes and join the conversation: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter @theendoftourismJoin the Conspiracy! Support us via Patreon @ ⁠⁠⁠⁠ Get full access to ⌘ Chris Christou ⌘ at
My guest on this episode is Bani Amor, a genderqueer travel writer who explores the relationships between race, place, and power. They’re a four-time Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation fellow with work in CNN Travel, Fodor’s, and AFAR, among others, and in the anthology Outside the XY: Queer Black andBrown Masculinity. In our discussion we look to travel writing as a narrative that underpins colonialism and the identity crisis that it desperately needs. We consider contemporary social media travelogues, the limits to decoloniality and tourism greenwashing, spiritual or psychedelic tourism, what subversive travel writing looks like and what travel writing looks like at home.------------------------------------------------------Bani's Instagram PageWorkshop: Travel Writing and Social Justice: Dismantling the Inner Colonizer with Bani Amor (via Zoom)The Heart of Whiteness: On Spiritual Tourism and the Colonization of AyahuascaBani's B***h Media WritingBani's Official Website (Coming Soon)------------------------------------------------------Discover more episodes and join the conversation: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter @theendoftourismJoin the Conspiracy! Support us via Patreon @ ⁠⁠⁠ Get full access to ⌘ Chris Christou ⌘ at
My guest on this episode is Andrew McLuhan, an author and educator living in Bloomfield, Ontario. He writes and delivers speeches, classes, workshops on McLuhan methods and work, consults with individuals and companies on understanding McLuhan work in culture and technology and applying that work today to bring insight and new perception and understanding. Andrew McLuhan is a grandson of Marshall McLuhan, noted Canadian professor from the University of Toronto who was a pioneer in the field of Media/Communications studies. Andrew is director of The McLuhan Institute, founded in 2017 to continue the work begun by Marshall McLuhan and carried on by Eric McLuhan in exploring and understanding culture and technology. The McLuhan Institute preserves their family archive and collections, and focuses on bringing forward and making accessible the practical tools for exploring and understanding the nature and effects of human innovation so that we might be more conscious agents of change. ------------------------------------------------------Substack: The McLuhan NewsletterThe McLuhan Institute Website - TwitterGray Area Understanding Media Intensive (New class starting in Sept 2023)Poetry: Written Matter (Revelore Press)------------------------------------------------------Discover more episodes and join the conversation: ⁠⁠⁠⁠Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter @theendoftourismJoin the Conspiracy! Support us via Patreon @ ⁠⁠ Get full access to ⌘ Chris Christou ⌘ at
In this mini-episode, I offer up a little introduction into these extremely important themes, ones so often neglected in our time: responsibility, repair and radical hospitality. As locals and foreigners alike, depending on where we are at any given moment, the questions posed in the episode arise as necessary in order to understand where we actually are at any given moment, how we are in those places and with the people that surround us. These themes are the foundation for why the podcast was created in the first place. If given their proper place on the throne of our days, we might begin to dream the world anew, slowly coaxing it into reality. That is my hope. That is the work.Hosted by Chris Christou---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Discover more episodes and join the conversation: ⁠⁠Follow us on ⁠Facebook⁠, ⁠Instagram⁠, ⁠Twitter⁠ @theendoftourismJoin the Conspiracy! Support us via Patreon @ ⁠ Get full access to ⌘ Chris Christou ⌘ at
My guest on this episode is Murray Cox, a multidisciplinary Australian-American artist and activist based in Newburgh NY, who uses visual, audio, spatial and data storytelling to explore themes of economic and racial equity and to fight for housing justice and the right to our cities.He is also the data activist founder of Inside Airbnb, a mission driven project which provides free data on Airbnb’s impact on residential communities, and advocates for regulations that protect our neighbourhoods.Murray and I gathered to discuss his project Inside Airbnb, how it began, where Airbnb fits in the housing crisis, how Airbnb intentionally misleads the public, as well as racial discrimination evident on Airbnb's model. We talk about the various reports that Inside Airbnb has released over the years, digital nomadism, housing for all, the host-guest relationship, and the need to organize the neighbourhood.------------------------------------------------------Inside Airbnb Official Website - Facebook - TwitterResist Airbnb Official Website - Facebook------------------------------------------------------Discover more episodes and join the conversation: ⁠⁠Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter @theendoftourismJoin the Conspiracy! Support us via Patreon @ ⁠ Get full access to ⌘ Chris Christou ⌘ at
On this episode, I'm honoured to host and welcome back to the pod, my dear friend, Stephen Jenkinson, MTS, MSW. Stephen is a worker, author, storyteller, musician and culture activist. In 2010, he founded Orphan Wisdom, a house for learning skills of deep living and making human culture that are mandatory in endangered, endangering times. It is a redemptive project that comes from where he comes from. It is rooted in knowing history, being claimed by ancestry, working for a time he won’t live to see. When not on the road, he makes books, succumbs to interviews, tends to labours on a small farm, mends broken handles and fences, and bends towards lifeways dictated by the seasons of the boreal borderlands.We discuss winter(ing) and going without, the ominous Old Country, being more European than the Europeans, what it means to love a place, the Axes of the world and the local numinous, the towering order of staying home. In the second half I propose a different route than we usually take, towards the living and the dead and time, towards justice and freedom. I have to say, Stephen was incredibly generous with his time and we're blessed to hear from him. Enjoy!------------------------------------------------------Reckoning Book by Stephen Jenkinson and Kimberly Anne JohnsonStephen's Books: of Grief and Mystery: more episodes and join the conversation: http://www.theendoftourism.comFollow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter @theendoftourismJoin the Conspiracy! Support us via Patreon @ Get full access to ⌘ Chris Christou ⌘ at
On this episode, I speak to Cecilia Morgan, a professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at the University of Toronto. Her work focuses on nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century Canada as part of the British Empire and transnational worlds. She has been researching the history of English-Canadians’ and Indigenous peoples’ travel, tourism, and transnational mobility for over twenty-five years, and is particularly interested in the way that gender and empire have been part of those processes. Her publications in these areas include Sweet Canadian Girls Abroad: English-Canadian Actresses on Transnational Stages, Travellers Through Empire: Indigenous Voyages From Early Canada, and ‘A Happy Holiday’: English-Canadians and Transatlantic Tourism.Professor Morgan lives in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, a destination for cultural and wine tourism. As well as witnessing the many changes the town has undergone since the early 1980s with the expansion of tourism, she has written about its history in her book, Creating Colonial Pasts: History, Memory, and Commemoration in Southern Ontario.------------------------------------------------------Cecilia Morgan's UofT PageTravellers through Empire: Indigenous Voyages from Early CanadaSweet Canadian Girls Abroad: A Transnational History of Stage and Screen ActressesCecilia Morgan's Google Scholar Page------------------------------------------------------Discover more episodes and join the conversation: http://www.theendoftourism.comFollow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter @theendoftourismJoin the Conspiracy! Support us via Patreon @ Get full access to ⌘ Chris Christou ⌘ at
On this episode, my guest is Fiore Longo, a Research and Advocacy Officer at Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples. She is the director of Survival International France and Survival International Spain. Fiore coordinates Survival’s conservation campaign, and has visited many communities in Africa and Asia that face human rights abuses in the name of conservation.Months ago, Survival International reached out to let me know what was happening in Tanzania regarding the brutal and illegal evictions of the Maasai from their territories. Finally, we managed to record what is a deeply nuanced and important conversation regarding those very evictions and their history. We discuss the western imaginary of nature, the enclosure of the commons & the creation of national parks, the second industrial revolution in Africa, the contradictions and criminality of conservation NGOs, how eco-reserves are created to make room for tourism and the costs that come along with it.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Survival International Official Website: Maasai Evictions Press ReleaseThe Maasai Are Under Attack in the Name of Conservation: 'This Is Our Land, and We Won't Leave'Why 30×30 would be the worst possible outcome of COP15Survival International Official Website: Decolonizing Conservation CampaignFilm: Serengeti Shall Not DieJournalist Mark Dowie-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Support the podcast and the movement through our Patreon: more episodes and join the conversation: http://www.theendoftourism.comFollow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter @theendoftourism‍ Get full access to ⌘ Chris Christou ⌘ at
On this, the first episode of Season 3: Invocations, my guest is Dougald Hine, a social thinker, writer and speaker. After an early career as a BBC journalist, he co-founded organisations including the Dark Mountain Project and a school called HOME. He has collaborated with scientists, artists and activists, serving as a leader of artistic development at Riksteatern (Sweden’s national theatre) and as an associate of the Centre for Environment and Development Studies at Uppsala University. His latest book is At Work in the Ruins: Finding Our Place in the Time of Science, Climate Change, Pandemics & All the Other Emergencies (2023). He co-hosts The Great Humbling podcast and publishes a Substack called “Writing Home.”Here, we discuss Dougald’s travels (from Oaxaca to Sweden), his new book At Work in the Ruins, the missing links in the climate change discussion, flightshaming or flygskam, the quality of culture, Gustavo Esteva’s "turnings" and hospitality, money and 500 years of abuse, becoming an immigrant in a Swedish pandemic, the Uzbek Storyteller and A School Called Home. Enjoy!-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Dougald's Official WebsiteDougald's Substack WritingAt Work in the Ruins: Finding Our Place in the Time of Science, Climate Change, Pandemics & All the Other EmergenciesThe Dark Mountain ProjectBlack Elephant-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Support the podcast and the movement through our Patreon: more episodes and join the conversation: http://www.theendoftourism.comFollow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter @theendoftourism‍ Get full access to ⌘ Chris Christou ⌘ at
This is the last episode of Season 2: Mexico, entitled "Barbarians of Oaxaca: Get Out". In honor of our late, dear friend and mentor, Gustavo Esteva, along with myself and fellow Unitierra Oaxaca Wendy Juarez, we have put together a series of reflections on this season, the episodes, and everything we have learned as a result. We want to thank you very much for listening to us, and we hope that the conversations we've had over the last six months have brought some clarity to the complexity surrounding the issues of tourism, exile, and radical hospitality in Mexico. The pod, as always, is a lot of work. This season we have had the help of friends: Adair from OjoViajero, Mim from MitamineLab, Patricia from Oaxaca and Human from Brazil.Season 2 is dedicated to our late friend and mentor Gustavo Esteva, grandfather, sage, and co-founder of Universidad de la Tierra in Oaxaca, Mexico. These episodes have been planned and organized in collaboration with our colleagues from Unitierra Oaxaca.They are dispatches of the resistance.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------EoT Season 1, Episode 6.1: "The Conquest and the Great Escape" (with Gustavo Esteva)EoT Season 1, Episode 6.2: "A World Where Many Worlds Belong" (with Gustavo Esteva)Gustavo Esteva Essay: "Dealing With Our Own S**t" (Dark Mountain)Gustavo Esteva Talk: Challenging the Institutional Production of Truth (Local Futures)-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Support the podcast and the movement through our Patreon: more episodes and join the conversation: http://www.theendoftourism.comFollow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter @theendoftourism‍ Get full access to ⌘ Chris Christou ⌘ at
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