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International Workshop*

DARK TOURISM

Post – WW1 Destinations of Human Tragedies and
Relevant Tourism Development Opportunities

Portorož-Portorose / Koper-Capodistria, Slovenia
October 2 – 4, 2014

Subject:

The centennial of the beginning of WW1 is the occasion to discuss war tragedies and multiple effects in the arrangement of post-WW1 political and regional environments. Exceptional tragedies have been designated by memorial shrines, monuments and museums, and are “promoted” by battle re-enactments and memorial events. Horror and Human Tragedy places are visited by tourists.

The spatial arrangements after WW1 have strengthened new political players and have produced new spaces of confrontation. In the Danubian – Alps – Adriatic Europe the fragmentation of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the geographical enlargement of the Italian Kingdom, and the evolution of Central European nation-states, induced by the US democratic ideals, have produced also new borders and a variety of new nation-states on Europe’s political map. After two World Wars ethnic, economic and political boundaries in many cases do not coincide. The quest for territory was for a substantial amount of time on the agenda of irredentist fascist, national-socialist and communist regimes of the 20th century.

The workshop should in particular identify major arrangements of remembrance of the WW1 tragedy and places of WW1 and WW2 cores of horror in relation to relevant visits of tourists and events taking place there. Our major attention should be devoted to the discussion of the Alps-Adriatic region of Italy, Slovenia/Yugoslavia and Austria.

Regarding WW1 we are planning, among other regions and issues, to elaborate on effects of tourist visits to the memorial sites of Kobarid (Caporetto), Redipuglia and Oslavia, of museums devoted to WW1 (example: Kobarid) and of outlined structures/areas on remembrance paths /example: “The Walk of Peace” (from the Alps to the Adriatic)/, as well as on re-enactment performances along the way (example: Fortress Kluže). The time between both world wars was devoted to strengthen the newly established borders by fortification lines which remaining structures are in the interest of tourists as well /example: Rupnik’s Line (Yugoslavia) and Vallo Alpino (Italy)/. WW2 and the post-war period have left imprints of horror and human tragedy in several places of the region being now visited by groups of tourists and individuals. Among others the following destinations could be named: The Hospital Franja (candidate for UNESCO world heritage list) and memorial sites in Cerje, Vrtojba, Bazovizza, Monte Grisa, Dražgoše, Ljubelj, Teharje, Pod Krenom, Osankarica/Trije žeblji, Ljubljana (“Along the Barbwire of the Occupied City”) and others.


*The International Workshop is part of the project entitled University of Primorska (UP) and the World – International incorporation of the UP: The project is partly financed by the European Union and the European Social Fund as well as by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport of the Republic of Slovenia. The program is performed within the Operational program of Human Resources Development for the period 2007 – 2013 – Development priorities no. 3: Development of human resources and of life-long learning; Priority directive 3.3.: Quality, competitiveness and response of higher education.