Recycling Death: Post-Apocalyptic Tourism in the American West
“Recycling Death: Post-Apocalyptic Tourism in the American West” examines recycling as a practice of mediating life and death in spaces of dark tourism where death is present as an absence of life. I contend that due to the history of colonization and human intervention beginning with the western frontier, western spaces of post-apocalyptic tourism like the Salton Sea and its surrounding communities have allowed for a movement of the frontier from physical and technological spaces to pataphysical horizons through environmentally conscious practices like recycling, allowing the post-apocalyptic tourist to push their own ontological frontier to new spaces. Examining Bombay Beach and Slab City as macrocosms of the regional post-apocalyptic tourism, I hope to expand the limits of dark tourism to spaces where life coexists with death, as much as the past coexists with the present.
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