Introduction In an increasingly mediated society, the importance of discovery and questioning of the mundane becomes vital to ground actions, individually and collectively, in alternative ways. Memory Work is an approach developed to help explore the mundane by problematising the things we take for granted. Through recalling and documenting stories of memories and experiences, participants, researchers and research-subjects are invited to look for variety – in one's own stories as well as in relation to the stories of the others – regarding
12 Rewriting the memory of immigration: Samuel Zaoui’s Saint Denis bout du monde Mireille Le Breton In the 1980s and 1990s, a movement erupted on the French literary scene: the descendants of first-generation Maghrebi immigrants started to write autobiographical or semi-autobiographical novels in order to voice their mal-être in a society that did not seem to acknowledge they were French, endowed with the same rights as any citizen living in the French Republic.1 Their narratives also incorporate stories of their parents’ generation, people who had left for
This article discusses how Armenians have collected, displayed and exchanged the bones of their murdered ancestors in formal and informal ceremonies of remembrance in Dayr al-Zur, Syria – the final destination for hundreds of thousands of Armenians during the deportations of 1915. These pilgrimages – replete with overlapping secular and nationalist motifs – are a modern variant of historical pilgrimage practices; yet these bones are more than relics. Bone rituals, displays and vernacular memorials are enacted in spaces of memory that lie outside of official state memorials, making unmarked sites of atrocity more legible. Vernacular memorial practices are of particular interest as we consider new archives for the history of the Armenian Genocide. The rehabilitation of this historical site into public consciousness is particularly urgent, since the Armenian Genocide Memorial Museum and Martyr’s Church at the centre of the pilgrimage site were both destroyed by ISIS (Islamic State in Syria) in 2014.
Debates on the relevance of repatriation of indigenous human remains are water under the bridge today. Yet, a genuine will for dialogue to work through colonial violence is found lacking in the European public sphere. Looking at local remembrance of the Majimaji War (1905–7) in the south of Tanzania and a German–Tanzanian theatre production, it seems that the spectre of colonial headhunting stands at the heart of claims for repatriation and acknowledgement of this anti-colonial movement. The missing head of Ngoni leader Songea Mbano haunts the future of German–Tanzanian relations in heritage and culture. By staging the act of post-mortem dismemberment and foregrounding the perspective of descendants, the theatre production Maji Maji Flava offers an honest proposal for dealing with stories of sheer colonial violence in transnational memory.
The shape of memory: Forced removals in Port Elizabeth Port Elizabeth, like all South African cities, has been indelibly shaped by forced removals, many of which long predate the infamous Group Areas Act of 1950. The earliest of these were the ‘location’ removals of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries under British rule. Displacement was a regular feature of twentieth-century life in the city, under the auspices of ‘slum clearance’ and an ostensibly liberal housing policy for those streaming into the city in the face of rural displacement and
2 Thought and memory John Harris What is bioethics for? Indeed what is ethics for? Readers of this volume will themselves have formed their own ideas about what bioethics is in terms of the questions it addresses and its methods of inquiry. But, apart from its intrinsic interest, what makes bioethics worth doing, what makes it worthy of anyone’s attention? What I hope this introductory chapter will do is give some sense of what I have been trying to do in my life in bioethics, and of some of the influences and events that have shaped its course. In short, I
9 Who’s like us? Scotland as a site of memory The previous chapters have examined the many ways in which adult Europeans celebrate and impersonate the Scots. It has emerged that many of them hope that, via Scotland, they can reconnect with their own lost past. This chapter examines the reasons for the Scottish dreamscape’s striking resonance in northern and western Europe. Why do the continental heritage enthusiasts direct their playful energy towards the Scottish dreamscape, and not to any other pseudo- historical fantasy? Why Scotland? One reason, certainly
the project) to record memories and imaginations of the past and future. From this they produced a visual and aural montage of a journey along the high street through time, 8 which is also an exploration of the past, present and future of life and work on Sheppey. In our follow-on project, Imagine Sheppey, we extended our work with young people using arts practice to further explore how they are ‘oriented’ (Ahmed 2006 ) towards the future. In a series of arts-based workshops led by Tea, we intervened in selected sites on the Island to alter the space as
Between 2012 and 2017, at the Ł-section of Warsaw’s Powązki Military Cemetery, or ‘Łączka’, the Polish Institute of National Remembrance exhumed a mass grave containing the remains of post-war anti-communist resistance fighters. Being referred to as the ‘cursed soldiers’, these fighters have become key figures in post-2015 Polish memory politics. In this article we focus on the role of the volunteers at these exhumations in the production of the ‘cursed soldiers’ memory. Following the idea of community archaeology as a civil society-building practice, the observed processes of sacralisation and militarisation show how the exhumations create a community of memory that promotes the core values of the currently governing national-conservative PiS party. We found that tropes related to forensic research and typically identified with cosmopolitan memory paradigms are used within a generally nationalist and antagonistic memory framework.
Representations of Rwanda have been shaped by the display of bodies and bones at Tutsi genocide memorial sites. This phenomenon is most often only studied from the perspective of moral dimensions. This article aims in contrast to cover the issues related to the treatment of human remains in Rwanda for commemorative purposes from a historical perspective. To this end, it is based on the archives of the commissions in charge of genocide memory in Rwanda, as well as interviews with key memorial actors. This study shows the evolution of memorial practices since 1994 and the hypermateriality of bodies in their use as symbols, as well as their demobilisation for the purposes of reconciliation policies.