37 monuments in 30 days, and what I learned along the way.
Darmon Richter is a travel writer, tour guide and researcher, with a particular interest in ideological architecture.
Darmon wrote his first short story, in school, at the age of seven. Back then he mostly wanted to be an astronaut… but being a writer was always a close second choice.
A year later, he began to discover an early love for underground spaces. During a camping trip with the local scouts, Darmon went off wandering and found the gaping concrete entrance to a storm drain. The troop leader was on the verge of calling the fire brigade by the time he crawled back out – soaking wet, covered in cobwebs, and utterly enthralled.
Since then, not much has changed. Darmon still enjoys crawling about in dirty drains, and he still reads books about ancient mysteries, outer space and time travel. He never achieved his dream of becoming an astronaut; but he’s quite enjoying Planet Earth for now, getting to know it better, one curiosity at a time.
These days, most of Darmon’s time is spent researching and writing new content for The Bohemian Blog. After leaving college he worked a long succession of strange and sometimes terrible jobs… any writing he did usually had to come out of sleep time. But now, this blog’s his job. Between Photography sales, running Tours, and the amazing people who sponsor his work through Patreon, he’s been able to focus entirely on doing what he loves.
Darmon still doesn’t sleep much, and The Bohemian Blog isn’t the only project he’s working on. In 2015 he began studying towards a PhD in communist-era monuments. He often contributes to other sites, and since 2017 he’s been writing Rasputina: a graphic novel about the daughter of Grigori Rasputin.
Buzludzha Monument: The Conflicted Past and Uncertain Future of Bulgaria’s ‘Communist UFO’ | The Calvert Journal
The Misunderstood History of the Balkans’ Surreal War Memorials | Atlas Obscura
Cuba’s Abandoned Nuclear City (And the People Who Call it Home) | Foreign Affairs
The Essential Guide to Soviet Playgrounds | Atlas Obscura
Welcome to The World’s Largest Ghost City: Ordos, China | Gizmodo
What I Learned From Four Years on The Road | Rupert Wolfe Murray
The Subterranean Secrets of 10 Major World Cities | Urban Ghosts
Here’s What it’s Like to Trespass Underneath and Above London | Business Insider
In the Press
Briton Puts Bulgaria’s Communist Monuments Back Into Perspective | Balkan InsightWhy Bulgaria is the Best Country for Dark Tourism (German only) | Der Standard
You Can Play Pokémon in Radioactive Chernobyl | New York Post
In Pictures: A look Inside Abandoned Heyford US Air Force Base in Oxfordshire | The Telegraph
A Haunting Look at a Cold War-era Cuban Power Plant | New York Post
Urban Explorers Uncover Hidden Gems | The Sydney Morning Herald
Hidden Manchester: Urban Explorer’s Pictures of the City from the Rooftops and Tunnels | Manchester Evening News
An Extremely Creepy Tour of an Abandoned Soviet Monument in Bulgaria | io9
Haunting Pictures Reveal the Eerie Beauty of Chernobyl | BuzzFeed
Get a Peek at the World’s Biggest Ghost Town | Grist
Red Tourism: the Ethics and Etiquette of Visiting Communist Sites | History Fangirl
Dark Tourism and Urban Exploration in Eastern Europe, North Korea and Beyond | Intrepid Times
What it’s like to visit the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone | The Independent
Fantast in Focus: Darmon Richter | The Thinker’s Garden
Urban Exploration, Dark Tourism (French only) | Voyageurs du Net
Macedonian Pavillion / 16th Venice Architecture Biennale / 26 May – 25 November 2018
SOS Brutalism / Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt, Germany / 7 October 2017 – 25 February 2018
Making a Difference / Centre Culturel de Rencontre “Neimënster”, Luxembourg / 5 – 30 October 2017