Posts by katiasavchuk

Brazilians Losing Homes, Jobs in Lead-Up to World Cup and Olympics

As Brazil gears up to host the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016, authorities are investing billions of dollars in overhauling infrastructure, building facilities and improving security in cities soon to see the spotlight. The race to “clean up” cities before the events threatens to push thousands of poor residents from their […]

How to Photograph Responsibly While Traveling

Thirty years ago, when more people were traveling with cameras than ever before, Susan Sontag, in On Photography, observed that tourists had become so photo-hungry that travel was just “a strategy for accumulating photographs.” Like their counterparts a century earlier, who invaded Native Americans’ sacred spaces and had them alter ceremonies to be more photogenic, […]

Book Review: Travel, Humanitarianism, and Becoming American in Africa

The New York Times recently reported the collapse of Madonna’s $15 million project to build a school for poor girls in Malawi, where she has adopted two children. Mismanagement and cost overruns by Madonna’s charitable organization led to the project’s failure, but its merits were questioned earlier, when her philanthropy consultant suggested the money would […]

Do Voluntourists Help or Harm?

Performing short-term volunteer work abroad is “potentially exploitative” of vulnerable populations, according to a recent study of “voluntourism” in African orphanages. Authored by researchers from South Africa’s Human Sciences Research Council and Queen Mary, University of London, the report found that foreign volunteers who came, bonded and left harmed the emotional and social development of […]

China’s Great Green Wall Tests the Limits of Reforestation

By 2050, more than 42 percent of China will be green—that is, if China’s plan to build a 400-million hectare (988-million acre) “Great Green Wall” to block expanding deserts and fight climate change takes root as planned. Launched in 1978 and officially known as the Three-North Shelterbelt Forest Program, the network of artificial forests is […]

Iran’s Isolation Encourages Sustainable Tourism

Iran does not top most lists of sustainable travel destinations, but the country’s isolation may have unwittingly made it a pillar of responsible tourism. “Iran has not been McDonaldized yet,” said Jerry Dekker, a former humanities professor who has led over 30 cultural tours for Americans with Iran Traveler and lived there for 13 years. […]

Ecotourism Not a Win-Win for Poor Kenyan Communities?

Ecotourism is frequently cited as a model of responsible development, yet a recent report found it is often a sour deal for poor communities in Kenya. According to a series of articles on Investigate West, the nonprofit Kenya Community Based Tourism Organization looked into six ecotourism ranches across the country and reported that local groups […]