artists     stories    image-search     news    contact

I Was Here

© Ambroise Tézenas

Tourisme de la Désolation 2008-2014

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.
          — J.J. Lennon

Ambroise Tézenas evokes places marked by tragedy that now have their own guided tours. This phenomenon, known as ‘dark tourism’, is rooted in our fascination with the human capacity for evil, as well as our desire to see the aftermath of horror. Earthquakes, tsunamis, devastated or poverty-stricken areas are ‘destinations’ whose discovery feeds the ambiguous curiosity of a growing number of enthusiasts. Addressing the questions raised by this new reality, Ambroise Tézenas undertook a long investigation from the Oradour-sur-Glane massacre of 1944 to the ruins left by the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan Province, China, Ambroise Tézenas travels through the 20th century by way of Cambodia, Rwanda, Ukraine, and Lebanon. ‘Here, we are gawking at a nightmare’, he sums it up.

click to view the complete set of images in the archive

Dewi Lewis Publishing
£35.00 hardback
200 pages, 92 colour plates
300mm x 245mm
ISBN: 978-1-907893-58-2

Institute Artist is redefining how stories are produced and told. Representing auteur-driven storytellers, we bring together talent across commercials, photography, fine art, and film. Founded by Matt Shonfeld and Frank Evers. Institute Artists multi-platform production expertise, and established global relationships in entertainment, fine art, and journalism make for unmatched reach and cross-pollination of creative work. Institute Artist has been a leading advocate of the power of underrepresented talent and is fully committed to bringing these authentic voices to our clients by helping them tell compelling and entertaining stories that better connect with their audiences.