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English

Touring the Traumascape : 'War Tours' in Sarajevo

Published inWar and Trauma, Editors Inter-Disciplinary Press
Publication date2011
Abstract

If the link between war and tourism has already received considerable academic and media attention, the spatial representation of war in the tourism sector is still emerging in the fields of cultural geography and anthropology. In this paper I seek to explore the reconversion and touristification of sites traumatised by war – which I have approached using the concept of Traumascape – by presenting a case study in the Balkan region, Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina. This city lived through a terrible and traumatic siege during the Balkan wars of the 1990s and is now undergoing a process of post-conflict reconstruction. Tourists are now coming back to the region and many are eager to visit the war heritage left by the conflict. So-called ʽwar toursʼ, leading tourists through war-affected areas, are appearing in the town: the Times of Misfortune tour, The Total siege tour, the MissionImpossible tour and other tours labelled as political tours are taking place in the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The touristification of these sites and of the Balkan wars in general raises many questions in terms of the representation and interpretation of a collective and recent trauma: why are certain sites touristified and others not? Can tourism foster cooperation and reconciliation between divided communities? Can tourism be a vector of expression and information? And finally is the difference between a tourist attraction and a memorial as clear as it is generally stated?

Keywords
  • Heritage
  • Tourism
  • War
  • Balkan
  • Sarajevo
  • Dark tourism
  • Trauma
Citation (ISO format)
NAEF, Patrick James. Touring the Traumascape : “War Tours” in Sarajevo. In: War and Trauma. [s.l.] : [s.n.], 2011.
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  • PID : unige:21685
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