Guilt Trips by Kai Friese

Writer’s brief

Dispersed Islands

2005′s tsunami assault on the Andaman and Nicobar islands, a group of islands in the Indian Ocean and a Union Territory of The Republic of India, was followed by an “anthropological,” tribe-spotting feeding-frenzy in the Indian media. As writer Kai Friese noted in his Dispersed Islands in Chimurenga 14 (also online here): “Anthropology is alive and well, in the islands and it’s having a field day in the news… Welcome to the Andamans, where genetics and genocide, Neolithic tribes and Neanderthal officials frolic together in a dark and chronic farce. I haven’t been there since the tidal waves struck, but I was there long enough ago to know that the indigenous tribes learned their ‘survival tricks’ facing a tsunami called India.”

Three years after the media assault we revisit the Islands in a “letter from Delhi” that takes on the Indian state’s ‘holiday from responsibility’, ‘colonial guilt trips’ and ‘ethical tourism.’

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