Memorial and the Macabre: Conflict Resolution in Memorial Space
Tourism is more than mass marketing and pseudo-events, it is a societal safety valve adapted to each era and populace to address communal problems. An example of this is thanatourism (also known as dark, grief, and black tourism) a form of tourism that in its recent appearance addresses postmodern segmentation. We live in a divided world and, though the rise of new media and globalization suggest that our planet is more connected than ever, the reality is that nation states attempting to consolidate their power in such an inclusive global landscape increase restrictions. This has led to complex geopolitical situations and conflicts of identity in todays citizens as their allegiances to various consolidating groups complicate their lives. These identity issues make it difficult for people to deal with general human tragedy beyond political and national agendas. The most recently developed form of thanatourism responds to this by creating a memorial space in which the international community can come to terms with tragedies against humanity beyond political and ideological limitations. By looking at two of the most trafficked dark tourism sites, Ground Zero and Auschwitz, this paper will demonstrate that dark tourism in its recent global form has developed following international fragmentation in order to allow people from all backgrounds to confront profound moral issues outside of political and geographical boundaries.
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