There´s these things called favelas in Rio. They are essentially slums, populated mainly by the descendants of African slaves who were eventually ´freed´ from bondage by their portugese owners. Freed is not really the right word. They´re completely segregated from the regular population, they have very minimal access to electricity, there´s open sewage everywhere, they can´t get jobs, the Brazilians don´t consider them humans.
They offer tours through the slums, half of which supposedly goes towards humanitarian aid, the other half to the tour operators. They also have favela funk parties where you can go to this giant hall where the favelians party. but you are in a VIP area, looking down on the scene from above. I haven´t been able to bring myself to go to either.
The other travellers here at the hostel all say it´s a great experience, but I can´t help thinking that it wouldn´t feel right. Making this poverty a spectacle, the socialists here revel in their elitism, and it makes me ill.
I´ll definitely be ruminating more on this situation at a later date.