Entry Title: "Pop-Up War (collages)"
Name: Dagobert Hartmann , Germany
Category and Expertise: Deeper Perspective, Non-Professional
Entry Description: -
Story: Pop Up War – The Disneyfication of War
In May 2009, the civil war in Sri Lanka came to an end. It was the longest and bloodiest war in the modern history of Asia. The government forces defeated the rebel organisation Tamil Tigers, who were feared for their countrywide suicide bombings. With the end of the war, a domestic tourism industry has developed in a most unpredictable manner. An entire generation of Sri Lankans has grown up having never seen the occupied parts of their homeland. The north east coast, which was off limits for nearly three decades, has turned into a major tourist destination.
But the attractions are not typical temples and beaches found elsewhere in the country. Busloads full of people from the south flock to former battlegrounds to visit the remains of the war and get reenacted glimpses into the rebels’ lives. The “Disneyland" of war and horror covers a lot of strange sites: underground bunkers, submarine factories and kamikaze airplanes of the defeated rebels, as well as huge exhibitions of weapons and combat shows of special forces of the government. But whether the extensive military carnivals and the massive influx of visitors help to reconcile the ethnic conflicts remains questionable. The spectacle of post-war tourism in Sri Lanka is turning into a post-war triumph of the ethnic majority.