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Great fireflyz 2006-11-08 12:18

Hello Ken,
I think being on the train provided you with a perfect vantage point and you placed everything in the frame masterfully. There is so much here but all in the right place. Everyone obviously have their interpretation of an image and to me the fire in this picture could represent the negative side of tourism that destroys ways of lives of natives just like the lady in the picture selling toys to tourists rather working the land or what they normally do if there wasn't tourists money. TFS..


Old 11-12-2006, 08:29 AM
kensimage kensimage is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2005
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Default To fireflyz: Negative side of tourism

I agree that tourism has its negative side. However, any economic opportunity that comes to the rural Indians of Peru will result in a change in their way of life, and hence inherently, a loss of what they used to have, in favor of something they trade it for. The only way to really maintain their current culture is to near-totally deny them economic opportunity. I think we need to resist the temptation to want to keep other cultures as living museums. Their culture has not been static in their previous history--I'm sure that long before Europeans showed up, their ancestors "lost" certain parts of their culture when, for example, the Inca empire created new economic opportunity and a chance for better lives, at least in the material sense. Trying to keep the culture static now, insulating it from the outside world, would actually be quite a change from their history and tradition.

It is very unfortunate that the Indians' living standard is so low that even selling trinkets to tourists represents an improvement. But an improvement it apparently is, or they wouldn't do it. They don't have to; they could just stay on their farms, where they mostly still live and work anyway.

What we have to watch out for is when people lose their traditional culture and it's not by their own choice as some kind of tradeoff. For example, when oil companies in Nigeria foul the landscape that tribal people depend on for sustenance, they are forced out of their traditional life. They are not voluntarily engaging in an economic transaction to improve their lives.

Regards, Ken.
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