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History, 6.5 OTHER HUMANITIES
My paper investigates how many cemeteries have overturned their original function and negative association as sites of death and mourning to be transformed into multi-disciplinary spaces which provide visitors with a meaningful experience. There are many burial spaces that are popular tourist sites- Stonehenge (UK), Taj Mahal (India), etc. However, these may not stand out directly to tourists as resting places of the dead because burials have not taken place at these sites for hundreds of years. Tourists may associate the above sites with their visual and iconic features rather than their original purpose as burial grounds. Working cemeteries such as Hollywood Forever Cemetery (Los Angeles) and Glasnevin Cemetery (Dublin) utilize their spaces in unconventional manners for recreational events such as concerts, parties, art exhibitions, yoga classes and other leisure activities within the same grounds that internments are taking place. I investigate the impact that the transformation of cemetery landscapes has on the sites’ fundamental purpose, conflicts which may occur in utilizing these sites as tourist attractions and influence it has on the visitor experience. My paper will examine if the proliferation of cemeteries as tourist attractions represents a shift in contemporary society’s outlook on death and the landscape of the cemetery.
Doyle, Siobhán (2015) 'The Commodification of the Cemetery: Burial Spaces as Multi-Disciplinary Spaces'. Heritage of Death International Conference, Stockholm University. September 2015.