I Was Here
I WAS HERE
"The fascination we have as humans with our ability to do evil, witness the evidence of horror and stare fixedly at photographic, filmic or artefacts connected with death, is at the heart of the phenomenon known as ‘Dark Tourism’.
These images are about much more than tourism and the visiting of such sites, they challenge the nature of our behaviour, our history and our societies’ relationship with evil and mortality. They are a testament to our past, to our inability to move beyond it and our curious relationship with tragedy and death.”
– from the introduction by J.J. Lennon
Ambroise Tézenas has visited over a dozen major sites of dark tourism across the world – from Cambodia to Rwanda, Lebanon to Lithuania, Ukraine to the United States. These are sites developed for tourism and linked to death, assassination, incarceration, mass killing and tragedy. Yet dark tourism is not a new phenomenon and similar sites have attracted human interest for many years. From the gladiatorial combats of ancient Rome through to attendance at public executions in London of the 1600s, it seems that death and disaster have maintained a lasting appeal.
Born in Paris, Ambroise Tézenas gained international recognition through his first book, Beijing, Theatre of the People, which won the European Publisher’s Award for Photography in 2006. Shortlisted for the Prix de Académie des Beaux-Arts and the Prix Pictet Prize, his work has been exhibited widely in Europe and features regularly in major international publications, including the New York Times Magazine and The New Yorker. His work is held in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France public collection. Ambroise Tézenas is represented by Galerie Mélanie Rio in France.
200 pages, 92 colour plates
300mm x 245mm