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Disaster Tourism

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  • Disaster Tourism

    What is it that draws human beings to the sites of tragedies and disasters -- such as Ground Zero in New York, Auschwitz in Poland or Pompeii in Italy? Read our exploration of the topic below and share your experiences here.

    Related Story
    Disaster Tourism: Why Tragedy Draws Tourists
    Sarah Schlichter
    Senior Editor
    Independent Traveler
    www.independenttraveler.com


  • #2
    Re: Disaster Tourism

    I need to immerse myself in the culture and history of a place; sometimes it's ancient, but often it's fairly recent so we're seeing history in the making. It can be a shock to the system- we were just driving through Germany once, and the signpost for the next turning was Bergen-Belsen..... a place of horror in our minds; a shock to see that it was also just another town in pretty countryside.
    The Concordia raising was again history in the making, and, yes, I'm afraid I'd have caught the ferry to Giglio if I'd been in that part of Italy.
    It's the: What was it like? How did it feel? Why did it happen? attempt to understand.
    Jo. sigpic

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    • #3
      Re: Disaster Tourism

      Originally posted by jocap View Post
      I need to immerse myself in the culture and history of a place; sometimes it's ancient, but often it's fairly recent so we're seeing history in the making.
      It's the: What was it like? How did it feel? Why did it happen? attempt to understand.
      I like how you put that, Jo. I feel like you can't understand some places without understanding the tragedies that have shaped them. Then there's the flip side of the coin -- a certain tragedy may be specific to that particular place (like a concentration camp, the killing fields, etc.) because it rose out of a certain culture, but at the same time, this sort of thing can strike anywhere because it really rises out of human nature. So visiting this kind of site isn't just understanding a specific place but also confronting the darker side of our own humanity.
      "I haven't been everywhere yet, but it's on my list." -- Susan Sontag

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