Monday, May 7, 2007

Sabrina Grosse Kettler

Sabrina Grosse Kettler
Sabrina Grosse Kettler is a young German researcher who currently works with the German Organisation for Technical Assistance (GTZ) in the area of Security Sector Reform. She completed her Masters degree in Social Sciences with the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the German University of Freiburg in 2006. During her studies, she took a particular interest in concepts of security as well as theories of peace and conflict studies. This could also be the reason for her liking political movies. She describes Durban as one of the rare cities that is beautiful and alive at the same time.

In her chapter, The Security Challenge for Durban’s Tourist Authority, Sabrina focuses on how the tourist industry responds to the fear of crime. The industry seeks to counter the image of Durban as a dangerous city, yet it must also present the reality of crime accurately in order to protect the tourists. Through interviews with hotel managers and tourist agents, Sabrina identifies some of their strategies: emphasising safe havens (malls or private beaches); presenting Durban as ‘just like anywhere in the world’; and even making a virtue of Durban’s bad reputation by presenting poor and dangerous spaces as tourist attractions catered for by organised tours. Sabrina attended an educational campaign at Westville prison aimed at improving young offenders' attitudes toward foreign tourists so as to curtail future crimes against them. She provides a fascinating account of their experiences and feelings about the campaign.

Kettler, Sabrina Grosse. 'The Security Challenge for Durban’s Tourist Authority', in Rob Pattman and Sultan Khan (Eds.), Undressing Durban (Durban: Madiba Press, 2007), pp. 257-262.