Selfies at Horror Sites: Dark Tourism, Ghoulish Souvenirs and Digital Narcissism

Magdalena Hodalska

Selfies at Horror Sites: Dark Tourism, Ghoulish Souvenirs and Digital Narcissism
Taking self-portraits at horror sites, like concentration camps, Ground Zero or disaster stricken areas, has become a growing trend on social networking sites. The paper aims to discuss the cultural phenomenon of macabre selfies in the light of dark tourism and digital narcissism. Horror covered in the media becomes an attractive background for the ultimate selfies which are a teenagers’ way of celebrating life in places of death. These sometimes humorous self-portraits are ghoulish souvenirs providing emotional detachment, and at the same time a link to a greater media narrative. The interdisciplinary study is rooted in photography research, cultural and memory studies, and digital media research. The paper discusses the relationships of dark tourism and the media, kitschy souvenirs and digital memorialization of traumatic events. 
Słowa kluczowe: dark tourism, selfies, memory, consumption, trauma, digital narcissism

Barton R. (2001). Atrocity sites draw crowds of tourists. The New Zealand Herald, 5.06.2001 [; 20.09.2014].

Bergman S.M., Fearrington M.E., Davenport S.W., Bergman J.Z. (2011). Millennials, Narcissism, and Social Networking: What Narcissists Do on Social Networking Sites and Why. Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 50, pp. 706–711.

Blow C. (2014). The Selfie Generation. The New York Times, 7.03.2014 [; 20.09.2014].

Boyle K., Johnson T.J. (2010). MySpace Is Your Space? Examining Self-presentation of MySpace Users. Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 26, pp. 1392–1399.

Buczkowska K., Malchrowicz-Mośko E. (2012). Cultural Tourism Ethical Dilemmas. Turystyka Kulturowa, no. 12, pp. 42–55.

Carpenter C.J. (2012). Narcissism on Facebook: Self-promotional and Anti-social behavior. Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 52, pp. 482–486.

Chamorro-Premuzic T. (2014). Sharing the (Self) Love: The Rise of the Selfie and Digital Narcissism. The Guardian, 13.03.2014 [; 20.09.2014].

Christian Forums (2014). Forum: Selfie with the Pope [; 20.09.2014].

Cole T. (1999). Selling the Holocaust. From Auschwitz to Schindler: How History Is Bought, Packaged, and Sold. New York: Routledge.

Dean F. (2014). The most innappropriate places to take a selfie [; 20.09.2014].

Durkin K. (2003). Death, Dying and the Dead in Popular Culture. In: C.D. Bryant (ed.). The Handbook of Death and Dying(pp. 43–49).New York: Sage.

Feinstein A. (2006). Journalists under Fire: The Psychological Hazards of Covering War. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Felongco G. (2014). Student falls to death while taking „Selfie” [; 20.09.2014].

Foley M., Lennon J. (1996). JFK and Dark Tourism: Heart of Darkness. Journal of International Heritage Studies, vol. 2(4), pp. 198–211.

Forum (2014). Is it OK to take a selfie? [
ments/2af8fi/is_it_okay_to_take_a_selfie_at_auschwitz_visual/; 20.09.2014].

Garde-Hansen J. (2009). MyMemories? Personal Digital Archive Fever and Facebook. In: J. Garde-Hansen, A. Hoskins, A. Reading (eds.). Save As… Digital Memories(pp. 135–150). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Garde-Hansen J. (2011). Media and Memory. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Gilad M. (2014). War Tourism, the Latest Thing. Haaretz [; 20.09.2014].

Harris D. (2002). The Kitchification of Sept. 11 [; 20.09.2014].

Hodalska M. (2015). Turyści horroru w miejscach pamięci. Rola mediów w promocji miejsc traumy i zbrodni. In: B. Popiołek, A. Chłosta-Sikorska, A. Słaby (eds.). Historia – Pamięć – Tożsamość w edukacji humanistycznej. Tom 3: Pamięć człowieka, pamięć miejsca, miejsca pamięci. Studia historyczno-antropologiczne (pp. 593–606). Kraków: Libron.

Hodalska M. (2016). “Passengers in Charon’s Boat”: Reporters Covering Real-Life Horror, Fear and Terror. In:J. Campos II, K. Boczkowska (eds.). Framing Fear, Horror and Terror through the Visible and the Invisible(pp. 21–38). Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press.

Hum N.J., Chamberlin P.E., Hambright B.L. et al. (2011). A Picture Is Worth a Thousand ­Words: A Content Analysis of Facebook Profile Photographs. Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 27, pp. 1828–1833.

Lennon J., Foley M.(2000). Dark Tourism?: The Attraction of Death and Disaster. London: Continuum.

Levin A. (2014). Selfie in the Age of Digital Recursion. InVisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture, no. 20 [; 20.09.2014].

Liebes T. (1998). Television’s Disaster Marathons: A Danger for Democratic Processes?
In: T. Liebes, J. Curran (eds.). Media, Ritual and Identity(pp. 71–86).London and New York: Routledge.

Manio E. (2014). 15-year-old boy accidentally shoots self while taking selfie [; 20.09.2014].

Meagher J. (2014). How Selfie Culture Got Out of Hand. The Independent, 11.07.2014 [; 20.09.2014].

Mehdizadeh S. (2010). Self-Presentation 2.0: Narcissism and Self-Esteem on Facebook. Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, vol. 13(4), pp. 357–364.

Mendelson A., Papacharissi Z. (2010). Look at Us: Collective Narcissism in College Student Facebook Photo Galleries. In: Z. Papacharissi (ed.). The Networked Self: Identity, Community and Culture on Social Network Sites(pp. 251–273).New York: Routledge.

Michikyan M., Subrahmanyam K., Dennis J. (2014). Can You Tell Who I Am? Neuroticism, Extraversion, and Online Self-presentation among Young Adults. Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 33, pp. 179–183.

Miles A. (2011). When Disaster Strikes, Remember: This Is Not Your Drama. New Statesman,31.03.2011 [; 20.09.2014].

Moeller S.D. (1999). Compassion Fatigue: How the Media Sells Disease, Famine, War and Death. London: Routledge.

Monahan B.A. (2010). The Shock of the News. Media Coverage and the Making of 9/11. New York: New York University Press.

Panek E.T., Nardis Y., Konrath S. (2013). Mirror or Megaphone?: How Relationships Between Narcissism and Social Networking Site Use Differ on Facebook and Twitter. Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 29, pp. 2004–2012.

Pempek T.A., Yermolayeva Y.A., Calvert S.L. (2009). College Students’ Social Networking Experiences on Facebook. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology,vol. 30, pp. 227–238.

Pérez-Reverte A. (2009). Painter of Battles. New York: Random House.

Rojek C. (1993). Ways of Escape. Basingstoke: Macmillan.

Rojek C. (1997). Indexing, Dragging and the Social Construction of Tourist Sights. In: C. Rojek, J. Urry (eds.). Touring Cultures: Transformations of Travel and Theory(pp. 52–74).London: Routledge.

Sabin L. (2014). Sydney Siege: outrage as bystanders pose for selfies outside Lindt Cafe where man Haron Monis took hostages. Independent [; 20.09.2014].

Seaton A.V. (1996). Guided by the Dark: From Thanatopsis to Thanatourism. International Journal of Heritage Studies, vol. 2(4), pp. 234–244.

Seaton A.V. (2002). Thanatourism’s Final Frontiers? Visits to Cemeteries, Churchyards and Funerary Sites as Sacred and Secular Pilgrimage. Tourism Recreation Research, vol. 27(2), pp. 73–82.

Seaton A.V., Lennon J. (2004). Moral Panics, Ulterior Motives and Alterior Desires: Thanatourism in the Early 21st Century. In: T.V. Singh (ed.). New Horizons in Tourism: Strange Experiences and Stranger Practices(pp. 63–82).Wallingford: CABI.

Sharpley R., Stone P.R. (2009). (Re)Presenting the Macabre: Interpretation, Kitschification and Authenticity. In: R. Sharpley, P.R. Stone (eds.). The Darker Side of Travel: The Theory and Practice of Dark Tourism (pp. 109–128). Bristol: Channel View Publications.

Sontag S. (1977). On Photography. London: Anchor Books Doubleday.

Sontag S. (2004). Regarding the Pain of Others. New York: Penguin Group.

Stone P.R. (2006). A Dark Tourism Spectrum: Towards a typology of death and          macabre related tourist sites, attractions and exhibitions. Tourism: An Interdisciplinary International Journal, vol. 54(2), pp. 145–160.

Stone P., Sharpley R. (2008). Consuming Dark Tourism: A Thanatological Perspective. Annals of Tourism Research, vol. 35(2), pp. 574–595.

Sturken M. (1999). The Image as Memorial: Personal Photographs in Cultural Memory.
In: M. Hirsch (ed.). The Familial Gaze(p. 178–195). Hanover, NH: University Press of New England.

Sturken M. (2007). Tourists of History. Memory, Kitsch and Consumerism from Oklahoma City to Ground Zero. Durham: Duke University Press.

Szpunar M. (2016). Kultura cyfrowego narcyzmu. Kraków: Wydawnictwa AGH.

The Tatler (2015). Macabre: Narcissists flock to NYC blast site to take selfies. PJ Media, 30.03.2015 [; 20.09.2014].

Telegraph(2014). Dark tourism sites around the world. Telegraph [; 20.09.2014].

Thompson K. (1998).Dying to tell the story[documentary film]. USA: Creative Visions Productions.

TVN24(2014). Włoch wyniósł fragment drutu kolczastego z Auschwitz.TVN24,30 March [,wloch-wyniosl-fragment-drutu-kolczastego-
z-auschwitz-chcial-miec-pamiatke,118027.html?categoryId=496; 20.09.2014].

Uni A. (2014). Israeli teens need to stop with the Auschwitz selfies [; 20.09.2014].

van Dijk J. (2013). „You have one identity”: Performing the Self on Facebook and LinkedIn. Media, Culture and Society, vol. 35(2), pp. 199–215.

van Dijk J. (2007). Mediated Memories in the Digital Age. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press.

Wade L. (2014). “Tourist, Shame on You”: On Disaster Tourism[; 20.09.2014].

Walter T., Littlewood J., Pickering M. (1995). Death in the News: the public invigilation of private emotion. Sociology, vol. 29(4), pp. 579–596.

West P. (2004). Conspicuous Compassion: Why Sometimes It Really Is Cruel to Be Kind. London: Civitas.

White N. (2014). The life and death of the selfie: How it transformed pop culture and then jumped the shark. The Daily Dot, 25.04.2014 [; 20.09.2014].

Yuill S.M. (2003). Dark Tourism: Understanding Visitor Motivation at Sites of Death and Disaster. Master thesis, Texas University [; 20.09.2014].

Zelizer B. (2010). About to Die: How News Images Move the Public. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Czasopismo ukazuje się w sposób ciągły on-line.
Pierwotną wersją czasopisma jest wersja elektroniczna publikowana w internecie.