Thanatourist destination: Easter Island
Thanatourist destination: Kremlin and Red Square
Are we in danger of getting too "all encompassing" on this one? I have had a look at the Web site where these came from
. It is nicely done, based on what seems to be a fair amount of first hand travel experience and good research. My immediate impression, however, is why buy his book
when you can look at the Web site!!! But it looks a fine volume which I will look out for 2nd hand!!
I have been generally interested in the subject of "Thanatourism" for many years (as with other "types" of tourism) and "joined" the Dark/Thanatourism Research Forum in 2008. In those days it was the main source of info on the subject and was run by the original "Dark Tourism Academic Guru" Prof Philip Stone
- who has subsequently managed to maintain a good career out of the subject! Coincidentally he too has just published a book (which, IMO, looks far less of use/interest than the Atlas mentioned above authored by Dr Peter Hohenhaus who seems to be overtaking Prof Stone in the "Dark tourism guru" stakes??!!) - "111 Dark Places in England That You Shouldn't Miss
I see from my e-mail folders that I suggested the subject to Els as a "Connection" on 9 Oct 2008 - I copy the note here with my "starter for 4"
"Thanatourism - "travel to locations wholly, or partially, motivated by the desire for actual or symbolic encounters with death, depravity or disaster" Auschwitz - Holocaust site, Hiroshima - Atom Bomb site, Sighisoara - Dracula connotations, Greater Accra - Slave Dungeons
Not unreasonably, the number of connected sites has grown and now stands at 18. I don't know how many have been sourced from Dr Hohenhaus's "Atlas" but it has been used a lot as the link. If we really want to use his assessment as the "gold standard" for assessing a site's "Darkometer rating" then let's be open about it. But, remember, he had a book to fill!!! I would argue with many of them. Is a visit to Lenin's Tomb really "travel to locations wholly, or partially, motivated by the desire for actual or symbolic encounters with death, depravity or disaster
". If it was because he was a "tyrant" could I add Napoloeon's tomb please?? And, OK Easter Island is often cited as an example of how a group of people destroyed their environment but in fact there are alternative narratives on that (as we have previously discussed here - see This article
which blames it on the rats!)
And the Museum of Mummies in Guanajuato is a very incidental aspect of any visit to that city - Surely we should be trying to home in on sites where "Dark tourism" is a major aspect?
I have no simple answer but we could no doubt find a Graveyard in many Cultural sites... and if Valongo gets in (without even a "Dungeon"!) then so must any site associated with slavery......
I would suggest we re-think this Connection?