Dark Tourism BLOG
This page is intended to provide a more flexible and also more interactive element to dark-tourism.com, which is otherwise more static (more like an encyclopedia). The idea came about after the DT page I used to curate on Facebook was suddenly shut down by the company (full story here). So I’m continuing here – with regular blog posts, either featuring particular dark-tourism destinations or marking specific days in dark history and sometimes reacting to current affairs that are in some way relevant to this site’s topic.
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Dark travel videos and a surprise change in Turkmenistan
Last week I was contacted by someone in the English department of the Franco-German co-operation TV channel ARTE. I was alerted to two series of short video productions (with episodes of between 5 to 8 minutes in length) on topics that include, or at least overlap with, dark tourism themes. (Find the links to the programmes below!)
The first one is called “Toxic Tour” and has six episodes, each about
This photo was taken in St Petersburg and shows a reflection of one of the most iconic sights in this city, namely the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood … what a name in the current circumstances! (But its name is actually a reference to the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881.)
Secondly, I know in the West all eyes are currently on Ukraine and especially the Ukrainians, who are suffering the most in this ongoing war, and I naturally feel for them too. But my heart also bleeds for Russia – for various reasons I will
Fear-mongering vs a feel-good discovery
on the news yesterday were reports about a sensational discovery in the Antarctic waters. An expedition managed to track down and photograph the wreck of the Endurance, the ship of the Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1914-16 Antarctica expedition, also called “Endurance”. The ship hit pack ice early on, got stuck in it and was thus immobilized. As the ice increasingly crushed the vessel, it had to be abandoned by the crew who camped off-board on the ice. The ship eventually sank on 21 November 1915.
Easter Island escapism
Easter Island can be regarded as a dark-tourism destination only in a more symbolic way, making a link between its dark past of environmental overexploitation and the current threat to the whole Earth’s global biosphere – to quote my own book’s final chapter, which is about Easter Island: “[the islanders] had to learn the hard way that there was no other island they could evacuate to, just as the people of planet Earth must learn – to quote an often-used slogan at climate-change demonstrations – that there is no planet B.”
International Women’s Day 2022
Just a short one for once … Today is 8 March, Women’s day. Last year on this date I gave you a post featuring various more or less gigantic female statues.
One of them was the humongous titanium-clad Rodina Mat (aka Motherland Monument) in Kyiv, featured in the photo above. The statue is a staggering 62m tall (with the sword), combined with the plinth she towers over the city over a 100m high.
The photo was
As the brutal war that Putin’s Russia has launched against Ukraine continues, there has been another clash with the world of dark tourism too.
On Monday there was a missile strike on the Kyiv TV Tower, once the world’s tallest steel lattice structure. The link to dark tourism is this: the TV Tower is directly adjacent to a very dark site of the Holocaust, Babi Yar, or Babyn Yar in Ukrainian spelling, a massacre site and mass grave. During the