Existing literature on state socialist and communist heritage as a form of tourist consumption predominately focuses on destination contexts, such as the former Soviet countries and the few remaining state communist countries (i.e. China, North Korea and Cuba). As a result, the visitation to places linked to the history of socialism and communism in the so-called western pluralist democracies has often been overlooked and, at most, unacknowledged, especially as most research on “socialist” heritage focuses on sites connected to statist heritage rather than sites connected to socialist movements. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
This paper aims to fill the gap in terms of research focusing on these types of sites, with evidence from a range of countries in Europe and the Americas. It does so by illustrating the presence and engagement with official and non-official communist/socialist heritage at varying levels of commodification.
The paper concludes that not only is there a need to broaden the concept of socialist heritage but that its framing needs to continue to be understood from present day ideological discourses and struggles with respect to the marking of urban heritage tourist locations.
This contribution advocates the broadening of the concept of socialist heritage by acknowledging the relevance of “hidden” urban sites related to key socialist thinkers, socialist opposition to fascism, and civil wars in which the socialist movement was involved, while also drawing parallels between the levels of socialist/heritage recognition and use as a commodity in relation to the historical narrative within the studied countries.
Adie, B., Amore, A. and Hall, C. (2017), "Urban tourism and urban socialist and communist heritage: beyond tragedy and farce?", International Journal of Tourism Cities, Vol. 3 No. 3, pp. 291-304. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJTC-02-2017-0011Download as .RIS
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