In general, if someone is trying to sell you something worthy, it’s worth substituting the word ‘bollocks’ for the word ‘sustainable’. This is particularly true when it comes to tourism. In South Africa, for instance, sustainable tourism is the experience of driving across land that once used to belong to black people, on which they are now less welcome than the giraffes you’re there to see. When activists try to step out of this kind of ugliness by putting ourselves at the disposal of local social movements when travelling, we invariably cause more harm than good, diverting scarce resources to the tasks of babysitting, and chaperoning while shopping.
Which is why I like call for attendance from the comrades at the Bangladesh Krishok Federation. They’re a movement of farmers whose livelihoods, whose very lives, are under threat from climate change. So when they ask you to jump on a plane to visit, they’ve likely got a good reason. And they’re inviting all and sundry to join their 20 day “Climate, gender, food sovereignty caravan” in Bangladesh in November. Not only do they want you to return filled with outrage, but your participation will fund the attendance two other regional participants. Find out more here. It promises to be three weeks from which you’ll return transformed. And, for $75 more, they’ll even take you shopping.