Membership in the End of Tourism: An Invitation

Chris Christou

You Are Cordially Invited to Dive Deeper into the Resistance

Five years ago, I began writing a book on travel. To be honest, I had no idea what it would be about. Eventually, what surfaced was not yet another travelogue, not another guidebook, not another history to serve the God of History, but a kind of unauthorized history of tourism, one that seeks to unveil tourism as the end of the neighbourhood, of culture, and of conviviality. That book is finished and in search of the right hands to bring it into the world.

Knowing that my voice is not a choir and that this unconsidered story is tied to countless others through a tapestry of unwelcome memories, I went in search of them. In the dawning months of 2021, in the twilight of tourism’s global shutdown, I began to “find the others,” the resistance, laying claim to their homes and cultures at a time when industry and entitlement were salivating to lay them asunder, once again. Thus was born The End of Tourism Podcast.

This project emerged as an attempt to draw from the mediated outskirts of escapist spectacle the voices of all those who still court and conjure culture, who still know what it means to live in a neighbourhood and to fight against all odds for its survival. This is what we encounter on the pod: elder storytellers of the Old Country offering wisdom for the longing and loss hitched to New Worlds; scholars young and old using intellect and memory to frame the complex causes and consequences of tourism; and finally activists of all stripes reclaiming their streets from the mob, singing anew the songs of solidarity, sanctuary, and resilience.

Something has begun, something small, yet dynamic, persuasive, and potent. A root fire signalling the souls and soils of lands covered by concrete and amnesia to rise through the cracks. Find the others. Listen to the stories. Learn, organize, and act.

A Generation’s Spirit Work

In a time of cultural decay and climate collapse, tourism has become the way to forget and ignore our generations’ spirit work. Escape has become the weather for all seasons and our duty, at the very least, is to apprentice the weather of our times, to seek shelter from the storm, but not to flee it. Doing so only results in more work for future generations and fewer tools to do it with, that is, if they’d even have the time to begin. And so we begin for them, our descendants, remembering and sharpening our tools so that they become theirs, knowing what’s at stake, which is our capacity to proceed as people of deep consequence, moving lightly, lucid in dark times.

I won’t lie. This endeavour, this podcast is a big deal (as far as production is concerned). I didn’t know that getting at the outset, but I had my suspicions. Research on who to invite, searching out their contacts through other contacts, inviting them, sometimes waiting months for a response, organizing dates and times, rescheduling, finding an adequate recording space, renting that space, organizing dates and times with them, ensuring that I’d have adequate recording/audio/video/editing/mastering/distribution/marketing tools, paying for each, reading and listening to guests’ work, preparing dangerous interview questions, undertaking the interview, and then, of course, the full days that it takes to edit and master the audio, to prepare social media posts, and to upload and update all of this on the End of Tourism website, alone. It’s a labour of love, undoubtedly, but it’s not easy and it clearly comes at a cost.

Campaigning for Community

With this in mind, with the help of dear friends far and wide, we are launching a Patreon campaign, to ensure that the voices of the neighbourhood get heard, so that we can build bridges between the fierce and budding anti-tourism movements around the world. A network of solidarity that can teach and trade in technique and power from below, from the grassroots, rooting the neighbourhood once more. We can and must do this, but we need your help, your give-a-shit, your solidarity in keeping this flame alit, in keeping the podcast fed and funded.

We have two specific goals at the moment: the first, harvesting sustenance – sustaining the costs of the pod to produce two full-length End of Tourism episodes per month with all of the supplementary material in tow, as well as an original essay, review, or rant. The second aim includes hiring support and reaching a wider audience so that the pod might grow in accordance with its purpose. With this, we can more fully imagine the End of Tourism as the beginning of a story that coaxes interculturality into the world and into the neighbourhood.

Invitation as Invocation

And so this is an invitation for you to join the resistance, to ensure that the entirety of our interviews remain free to the public, to broaden the network and deepen our organizing power, and to have your say on how we proceed with the project. There are, of course, material rewards that come with your support beyond what it costs to keep the pod going, to keep it accessible for those who can’t support it financially. Those gifts include The End of Tourism merchandise, books, and stickers to tag all over your neighbourhood among other things. With a deep bow to your willingness to show up in a time when each of us is deeply needed, we ask you to support us via our Patreon campaign in whatever manner you can.

Together, we can remember and conjure radical hospitality both at home and abroad, building intercultural bridges that subvert the dire consequences of modern wanderlust, exile, and entitlement. With your participation, we can begin here, honouring our generations’ spirit work, nourishing worlds where many can root, braid and belong.

Sincerely (without wax),
Chris Christou

PS. If you’d like to join our Patreon campaign, you can check out all the other details here. We’d deeply appreciate it if you could share the campaign in your various online, in-person circles (links to share are also available here). Blessings on your day. Thank you.

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