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What is DSF?

What is Dissent Sans Frontieres?

Everyday, the world of travel becomes increasingly corporatised. Places become gentrified. Culture is commodified and sold off piecemeal. Local people lose their identity, and travellers are funnelled into endless cash grabs.

The joy of exploration has been transformed into predictable package tours. Traditional art has been transformed into plastic souvenirs. Human relations have been transformed into relations between money and credit cards.

Every aspect of this is exploitative. The traveller’s basic need to see the world are exploited by agencies, guides and rip offs at every step. The peoples of the world are being stripped of everything that makes them unique. Coming full circle, even the traveller is often an exploiter – a visitor from a rich country exploiting the worthless currency and desperate people of a poor host nation.

Put simply, the modern travel experience is nothing more than a collection of exploitative, monetised relationships. Meanwhile, the glittering resorts overlook the depressed slums.

DSF dissents from this reality. From providing political context to offering DIY travel solutions, DSF promotes alternative travel that prioritises the human experience and appreciation of the natural world. Forget resort vacations and gift shops. DSF visits refugee camps, climbs mountains and takes the road less travelled. We provide advice ranging from how to pack a backpack, to how to rickroll Islamophobes.

Think we’re being too political?

The whole point of DSF is to show how travel is a political act, no matter how it’s done. Mainstream travel is always political anyway: it stands for exploitation, cultural degradation and consumerism.

How did DSF start?

DSF began as To Here Knows When Travel in 2012; a blog of travel stories from off the beaten track.

Who manages DSF?

Ryan Mallett-Outtrim is an Australian activist and journalist currently living in Quito, Ecuador. He is a journalist at teleSUR English, and a member of the alternative news collective Venezuelanalysis.com. He is also a contributor to Australian alternative newspaper Green Left Weekly. According to his political compass results, Ryan is an off the chart left libertarian, described by his high school teachers as “unique”, one Chinese police officer as impeding “national harmony”, “a very bad man” by a Mongolian con artist, “a supporter of terrorism” by Moroccan settlers in Laayoune, a “dangerous communist” by an evangelical Christian and “of no interest in any ongoing investigations” by the South Australian Police. His passion for politics and social justice have led Ryan to covering the democracy movement from Morocco in 2011-2012, the ongoing struggle for self-determination in Western Sahara and progressive politics in Latin America.

I love DSF’s content, how can I get a slice of the action on my own website, or in my magazine?

Ryan Mallett-Outtrim is always keen to work with other publications to produce edgy travel pieces that challenge our culture, politics and society. Drop a line here!

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