Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Dirty Tourism

I had a photo friend send me this article tonight, rather fascinating, check it out. The main difference to me between the documentary photographer making photos in these situations and the tourist is the reasons behind them being there. The documentary photographer is trying to tell an important story using a certain level of skill to create powerful photographs (sometimes to the level of high art) for a large audience via newspapers, magazines, exhibitions. The documentary photographer is trying to promote positive change for the impoverished people he photographs. The tourist pays to be taken to sites of poverty as part of a tour. They have limited photographic skills and produces snapshots to keep mostly as souvenirs or at best to place on some social media site. The tourist is at these sites for themselves, for an adventure they can talk about with their friends back home.

Here is the story in the Phnom Penh Post.