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Speaker: Bullshit and pigeon shit: inside a "tourist tannery"

4 Responses

  • ilmars Gravis,

    Thank you, very interesting and thoughtful post, and great (but confronting photographs). Reminds me of days driving container trucks in Melbourne, two of the most eye-watering sites I had to pick up from were a tannery where pallets of salted hides were packed into containers for export, and a factory where tallow (animal fat) was recycled and packed into drums for export, probably to go into soap. The stench of both those places is something that will never leave me, especially on a +40deg summers day. I can barely imagine what life is like for these workers :-(

    mangere bridge • Since Jul 2013 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

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    Bunters, Toshers and Pure collectors...
    Excellent article and expose Clinton.
    I've recently been reading about Victorian 'pure collectors'...

    Pure Collector: Whilst this job may not sound particularly gruesome, what we have here is a classic example of good old fashioned Victorian euphemistic thinking. A pure collector actually collected dog faeces from the streets and sold it on to tanners for use in the leather making process.

    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/quite-likely-the-worst-job-ever-319843/
    and
    http://www.theemployable.com/index.php/2014/02/27/worst-jobs-of-the-victorian-era/

    NZ might like to reconsider its '100% Pure' campaign.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7480 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    Great article and photos, thanks. Ian's contribution is exactly the image that sprang up my mind as well.

    I'd quibble slightly that this particular form of tourism is substantially about witnessing people suffering, though. There's the "handcrafted = better" bullshit (often patently false when it comes to primary processing), and the exoticism in peering at workers doing processing in a "primitive" way.

    Why it's an acceptable form of tourism when these practices were outlawed in the tourists' country of origin on health/safety grounds decades ago is beyond me - especially since, as you observe, there are plenty of modern factories nearby. And you should be able to discern the fact these men will be paid a pittance. They sure as hell aren't owners of the means of production.

    I heartily wish that people who think this kind of labour-exploitation tourism is great get horribly ill and get to experience the joys of "primitive, exotic" health care there... Which will still be way better than what those workers ever get access to.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 670 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    My friend describes this kind of tourism as "human zoo".

    We saw it in Cambodia where, in the first village we visited, the guide essentially walked us through peoples homes showing us how the locals lived. After that we chose to play cards on the boat rather than visit any other local villages.

    It's frustrating when people go on about the romance of the way things used to be done and how modern technology has ruined everything.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4366 posts Report Reply

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