Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Students visit Auschwitz-Birkenau

UCLan Tourism undergraduates recently visited one of the world's most symbolic sites as part of their final year studies.

Dr Philip Stone, Executive Director for the Institute for Dark Tourism Research (iDTR), and Associate Lecturer Peter McGrath accompanied 33 students to Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, Poland.

The visit was the culmination of an emotive and provocative module entitled 'Dark Tourism and Thana-Events: Managing Macabre Attractions and Exhibitions', in which students critically analyse how dark heritage is (re)presented and managed within the modern visitor economy.

Dr Stone said the trip demonstrated UCLan's commitment to providing a world-class learning experience: "As the symbolic-focus of the Holocaust, Auschwitz-Birkenau haunts contemporary imagination and, as such, its continued role in interpreting a 'heritage that hurts' is key to understanding how difficult pasts are packaged up and remembered.

"The students were provided with a unique and profound opportunity to apply many of the theoretical themes discussed in the module. These included, amongst others, concepts such as death sequestration, collective memory, politics of fear, construction of moralities, and issues of 'Otherness'.

"The visit also illustrated how research informed teaching and real-world impact can be manifested in such a moving experience for all students involved."

A selection of images from the trip can be viewed here.

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