Do Dark Times Call for Dark Tourism?
PHOTO: Murambi Genocide Memorial, Rwanda (Photo via Flickr/lucianf)
In these divisive times, dark tourism could be more important than ever, says a new report in the Independent.
“As is often said: those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it,” Peter Hohenhaus tells the Independent.
Hofenhaus frequents sites of mass murders, natural disasters and museums that commemorate such incidents, which is fitting as he also runs a website devoted to the subject matter — Dark-Tourism.com.
While the subject matter is intense, it can also be eye-opening.
“If you learn about, say, the Holocaust or other genocides and atrocities of the past 100 years or so, it does sensitize you to current affairs,” Hohenhaus tells the Independent.
He points out that exposing yourself to Nazi or Communist propaganda enables you to see when you are experiencing it in the present.
One of the most effective dark tourism sites, according to Hohenhaus, is the Murambi Genocide Memorial in Rwanda. The monument commemorates the murders of around 2 million people.
READ MORE: Is Dark Tourism a Lesson in History?
“It moved me emotionally to the extreme,” he tells the Independent. “It stands out among all the others because here they’ve put on display corpses of the victims of the massacres, bleached white by lime, and in horribly contorted shapes, some still clutching rosaries, others with half-split skulls. There were even babies.”
For more on the impact dark tourism can serve to enlighten us, read on here.