Category: Turkmenistan

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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

Dark Tourism & Flames

As indicated at the end of last week’s blog post about the “Stans”, I now give you a themed post next, namely DT & Flames. It’s a topic that ran a couple times in the theme polls over the past 18 months (here, here and here) but never won. Now I’m just posting it anyway. And that’s because it follows on so neatly from the parts about the Darvaza flaming gas crater in Turkmenistan that was featured in last week’s post, and included photos like

Trouble in the Stans

“The Stans” is shorthand for the five former Soviet republics in Central Asia whose names all end in -stan, that is: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan (but not Pakistan and Afghanistan!).

All of these have been in the media for more or less unsavoury reasons over the past few decades, but Kazakhstan seemed to be the calmest and least

Dark Tourism & Corona

About a year ago we went into the first lockdown here in Austria. Corona was still very new, and back then we had no way of knowing that it would continue to have such a grip on the whole world for so long.
Anyway, I thought this was a good point to look back and go on a little time-travel excursion here. So I’ve lifted the series of Corona-related posts I had on my DT page on FB at the time of the first lockdown from the Facebook-posts archive that I

A Former Republic’s Ex-National Day

On this day, 7 October, the former GDR (in the West aka ‘East Germany’) used to celebrate the anniversaries of its founding on that date in 1949. It managed to get to its 40th anniversary in 1989 – but that was at a time when severe cracks in the state’s regime were already more than apparent. A few weeks later the Berlin Wall fell and just days before it would have been the 41st anniversary of the GDR’s founding, the state had ceased to exist on 3 October 1990 (see this recent post).

I used to mark this day, “Tag der Republik” in GDR parlance (literally ‘day of the republic’), on my former

A surprise reappearance

Not long ago I found that an article that was published in March, based on a telephone interview I had done with the author in January, featured the above photo of me. This is indeed one of the VERY few selfies I’ve ever taken, at a time when that word ‘selfie’ didn’t even yet exist, or at least wasn’t so widespread yet, namely in November 2010, at Darvaza, Turkmenistan.

And, it is the photo that I had used as my profile picture for my