Sunday, August 5, 2012

DARK TOURISM: A matter of conscience & consciousness

There's a side of international tourism that's a bit controversial and booming. Within the industry it's called 'dark' or thanatourism. John Lennon (Glasgow Caledonian University)says It's the recognition that there is a human interest, human motivation to explore the dark side of our past, as well as the positive side ... In mainstream culture, we witness this, with the interest in war, horror, detective, murder. In tourism we see that in visitation of those sites, associated with the worst elements of our human nature. So it's visitation of sites of death whether real or imagined. So it could include assassination sites, such as the Kennedy assassination point or indeed my namesake, John Lennon at the Dakota building in New York. It could be sites of mass killing and extermination like concentration camps or incarceration. Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge killing field sites and also incarceration sites. It could also be battlefield tourism, which is very significant in places like the U.S. but also in the U.K. where people will visit heritage sites associated with battles and many of these sites almost since the battles took place, have been places of veneration and visitation ... In Tasmania there is Port Arthur with layer upon layer of bleakness and there are Aboriginal massacre sites replete with dark stories, cultural memories and denials and there is the Black Line and more still ... click here to read and here more on ABC Radio 

1 comment:

iff! said...

Given the 'feel' of their advertising (see link below)... perhaps MONA would be up for a bit of collaboration on some Tasmanian dark tourism?