“Dark” tourism and the heritage of death
DOI link for “Dark” tourism and the heritage of death
“Dark” tourism and the heritage of death book
Visiting sites for the heritage of death is commonly called "dark tourism," a travel practice some consider to be superficial, disrespectful to the dead, or, perhaps more extreme, an experience that should be exclusive to those directly impacted by such deaths. Heritage is in and of itself a death system—the dead and their lives are human heritage writ large but the generation of heritage in the present must be manifested in and through landscapes of emotion, memory, and practice by and for living human beings. Tourism is a significant part of this process. Thus it, too, is a critical part of death system practices. Yet "dark tourism" persists in use, constructing tourists at sites as quite "dark" in the Western sense both explicitly and implicitly. Western perspectives on death and the dead that underpin conceptualizations of "dark tourism" are thus insufficient for understanding the broader world of tourism to sites for the heritage of death.