Dystopian dark tourism: Affective experiences in Dismaland

MS Pimentel Biscaia, Lenia Marques

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In dark tourism affects are generated in a relational manner by the tourists and the locations visited by them. Exploring affective meanings of Banksy’s Dismaland via socio-spatial theories of emotion and affect is a way to contribute to the understanding of dystopian tourism. The dystopian touristic experience of Dismaland evolves from the interaction of a dystopian atmosphere, a displacement strategy and productive negative intensities. Whilst the affects produced vary according to the artist’s intentions, through innovative and politicised forms of dystopian dark tourism, Banksy creates atmospheres where productive negative intensities are able to be developed. In spite of the shades of dystopia and darkness in the artist’s work, a hopeful form of tourism could be generated. The implications are that affect in the dark tourism context has different layers of meaning where the materialising dystopian experiences, as simulacra, range from pure attraction to social change. Dismaland’s dark tourism experience reveals the role that political and ethical matters play in socio-affective encounters as exemplified by the commodification of the tourism industry, the Mediterranean refugee crisis and the glorified/sorrowful death of Diana, princess of Wales.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-21
Number of pages21
JournalTourism Geographies
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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