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Ambroise Tézenas “I was Here, Dark Tourism”

Ambroise Tézenas

© Ambroise Tézenas. Sichuan Wenchuan earthquake ruins tour in China.

Exhibition venue: Grande Halle, Parc des Ateliers in Arles (France) during the Rencontres de la photographie (6 July – 20 September 2015). More info…  

Ambroise Tézenas has visited over a dozen major sites of dark tourism across the world – from Cambodia to Rwanda, Lebanon to Lithuania, Ukraine to the United States. These are sites developped for tourism and linked to death, assassination, incarceration, mass killing or tragedy. Yet dark tourism is not a new phenomenon and similar sites have attracted human interest for many years. From the gladiatorial combats of ancient Rome through to attendance at public executions in London of the 1600s, it seems that death and disaster have maintained a lasting appeal.

The fascination we have as humans with our ability to do evil, witness the evidence of horror and stare fixedly at photographic, filmic or artefacts connected with death, is at heart of the phenomenon known as « Dark Tourism ».
These images are about much more than tourism and the visiting of such sites, they challenge the nature of our behaviour, our history and our societies’ relationship with evil and mortality. They are a testament to our past, to our inability to move beyond it and our curious relationship with tragedy and death. (from the introduction by J.J. Lennon)

Ambroise Tézenas, born in 1972 in Paris, graduated from the School of Applied Arts in Vevey, Switzerland, in 1994. Until 2002, he regularly contributed to the French and international press. Based in London then Paris, he was a member of the Editing agency from 2001-2002. In 2002, he chose to gradually scale down his press work and focus on landscapes.


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