Charlotte Heath-Kelly
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Reflecting absence?
Disaster recovery and the World Trade Center
in Death and security
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This chapter explores how policies and practices of disaster recovery frame the emergency as ongoing and dangerous, in subsequent months and years, through its disruption of urban architecture and its lingering presence in memory. Death is understood to live on, hidden within human memory, with destabilising effects for politics. Efforts to consolidate recovery use techniques which act upon trauma (such as counselling) and which efface the memory of death inherent within destroyed landscapes (such as memorialisation). This chapter argues that memorialisation is a security practice, contra mortality. The empirical focus of the chapter is the World Trade Center in Manhattan, where the Reflecting Absence memorial has been constructed to simulate disaster recovery and the mitigating of death on the site of 9/11.

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Death and security

Memory and mortality at the bombsite


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