The study explores the ways that photography practices shape various types of ethical sensitivity within the frame of interaction between such practices and the condition of being a tourist (“tourist encounters”). Sightseeing has the potential to provide intentional and authentic ethical encounters to the extent to which the tourist leaves the“safety space”of the passive spectator, on the bus or at the hotel. But are tourists able to escape the simulacra of “cultural difference” that the tourism industry is so good at producing? The present study examines several types of authenticity and proposes a classification of photographs on the basis of two analytical dimensions: enunciation strategies and discursive circulation.

Keywords: visual sociology, tourist gaze, imagery, authenticity, photography, ethical tourism, supererogatio.

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