HOTELS

Best of the World: eight top destinations for history and culture in 2021

5. Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

A brave new hub for discussions on race

Greenwood Rising, the name of Tulsa’s new ‘Black Wall Street’ history centre, aptly describes the groundswell of support for sustainable socioeconomic transformation in the city’s Historic Greenwood District — site of one of the worst incidents of racial violence in U.S. history.

Beginning on May 31, 1921, white terrorists destroyed the prosperous Greenwood District, known as ‘Black Wall Street’, in an 18-hour assault, murdering around 300 Black residents and erasing nearly 35 blocks of Black-owned homes and businesses. To mark the centenary, the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission is building Greenwood Rising (set to open in fall 2021) and is hosting speakers, concerts and other events throughout the year.

It’s hoped the history centre will be a catalyst for revitalising Historic Greenwood and for confronting and ending systemic racism in the U.S., says Phil Armstrong, project director of the Centennial Commission. “Greenwood Rising will be a launching pad for continuing the discussion of racial trauma and reconciliation, and the entire historic district will be a place where people can come to learn, acknowledge implicit bias, and personally commit to enacting real change within their own spheres of influence,” Armstrong says.

From National Geographic Traveler US

6. Tonglu, China

A storied Chinese landscape gets its first art festival

Completed in 1350, ‘Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains’ is a touchstone of traditional Chinese shan shui, or landscape painting — a flowing visual journey along the Fuchun River and mountains that, when fully unrolled, extends more than 22 feet long.

Painter Huang Gongwang, one of the Four Masters of the Yuan dynasty, lived in seclusion by the Fuchun River, in Tonglu, for three years before completing this hand scroll masterpiece. Ever since, tranquil Tonglu — tucked in the mountains of eastern Zhejiang Province, 168 miles southwest of Shanghai — has been a source of inspiration.

In 2021, Tonglu is once again in the art spotlight. The first Tonglu Art Triennale, originally scheduled for autumn 2020 but postponed due to the pandemic to spring 2021, will display modern art installations in fields and along the river—and, the hope is, boost rural tourism.

Festival curator and director, Fram Kitagawa, explains, “At this season, the fog on the river and the clouds in the mountains are intertwined with each other, which is very similar to the Chinese landscape painting I knew when I was young.”

From National Geographic Traveler China