5 Memorialisation in post-conflict
Critically interpreting the past
Throughout societies like Northern Ireland that have experienced the deleterious effects of political violence, the creation of fitting memorials should be
integral to the efforts of transitional policymakers to combat widespread
ambivalence towards the suffering of victims and the legacy of conflict; and
also to combat the malign efforts of those who would seek to colonise
history with recourse to partisan, exclusionary material
’ memory is memorialised in writing. Derrida’s thoughts on the memorialisation of memory through writing have provocative implications for the challenge of remembering slavery, especially for black writers in Britain who – writing more than a century and a half since slavery was abolished in Britain – are also ‘outside’ of slavery and therefore have only hypomn ē sis , or a monumentalised form of remembrance, available to them.
It is important to note that Derrida describes memory as being unveiled. Memory is – to be accurate – ‘an unveiling
The display of human remains is a controversial issue in many contemporary societies, with many museums globally removing them from display. However, their place in genocide memorials is also contested. Objections towards the display of remains are based strongly in the social sciences and humanities, predicated on assumptions made regarding the relationship between respect, identification and personhood. As remains are displayed scientifically and anonymously, it is often argued that the personhood of the remains is denied, thereby rendering the person ‘within’ the remains invisible. In this article I argue that the link between identification and personhood is, in some contexts, tenuous at best. Further, in the context of Cambodia, I suggest that such analyses ignore the ways that local communities and Cambodians choose to interact with human remains in their memorials. In such contexts, the display of the remains is central to restoring their personhood and dignity.
The Khmer Rouge forbade the conduct of any funeral rites at the time of the death of the
estimated two million people who perished during their rule (1975–79). Since then,
however, memorials have been erected and commemorative ceremonies performed, both public
and private, especially at former execution sites, known widely as the killing fields. The
physical remains themselves, as well as images of skulls and the haunting photographs of
prisoners destined for execution, have come to serve as iconic representations of that
tragic period in Cambodian history and have been deployed in contested interpretations of
the regime and its overthrow.
Death is simultaneously silent, and very loud, in political life. Politicians and media scream about potential threats lurking behind every corner, but academic discourse often neglects mortality. Life is everywhere in theorisation of security, but death is nowhere. Making a bold intervention into the Critical Security Studies literature, this book explores the ontological relationship between mortality and security after the Death of God – arguing that security emerged in response to the removal of promises to immortal salvation. Combining the mortality theories of Heidegger and Bauman with literature from the sociology of death, Heath-Kelly shows how security is a response to the death anxiety implicit within the human condition. The book explores the theoretical literature on mortality before undertaking a comparative exploration of the memorialisation of four prominent post-terrorist sites: the World Trade Center in New York, the Bali bombsite, the London bombings and the Norwegian sites attacked by Anders Breivik. By interviewing the architects and designers of these reconstruction projects, Heath-Kelly shows that practices of memorialization are a retrospective security endeavour – they conceal and re-narrate the traumatic incursion of death. Disaster recovery is replete with security practices that return mortality to its sublimated position and remove the disruption posed by mortality to political authority. The book will be of significant interest to academics and postgraduates working in the fields of Critical Security Studies, Memory Studies and International Politics.
One of the key aims of this book is to offer a synthesis of the main findings of current research on age. It is intended as an outline survey and consequently the scope of the book is deliberately broad: it covers two centuries, considers the large land mass of Western Europe with its diverse languages, customs and cultures, and ranges across the social spectrum. The book focuses solely on the Christian West, including consideration on the extent to which social rank influenced life expectancy, the methods and goals of upbringing, marriage patterns and funerary memorialisation. The book also demonstrates how extensive that range can be. Examples are drawn from manorial accounts, tax assessments, spiritual writings, didactic literature, romances, elegies, art and architecture. The main thrust is that age formed an essential part of a person's identity in late medieval Europe. During adolescence, men and women progressively took on their adult roles. Three chapters are devoted to educating girls. The book discusses young people's period of transition between childhood and adulthood. It draws attention to pious young women who fought against marriage and wanted a chaste life. Divergences between northern and southern Europe in terms of marriage patterns, family formation, opportunities for women and attitudes towards death and its rituals are discussed. The book shows that attitudes towards the undeveloped young meant that children had few legal responsibilities. Another aim of the book is to consider the changing opportunities and possibilities for people as they progressed through life.
Memorialisation is a technique that
utilises visibility to re-narrate an event and, as argued here, to
re-take place from the incursion of mortality. As Lewis Mumford argued
in The Culture of Cities , the impenetrable and eternal aesthetics
of memorial stones, plinths and pillars convey a ‘deceptive
assurance of life’ (Mumford 1938 : 434).
This book has explored the
chapter explored the ways in which absence and trauma have been
co-opted within memorialisation at the World Trade Center site to
reinstate ontological security upon disaster space. Postmodern
monumental themes are used to draw visitors to the site, who wish to
view and consume the deathly event that disrupted the symbolic order,
but architectural design
within human memory. Memory is thus threatening to the recognition of
the sovereign as authoritative contra death. As such, efforts to
consolidate recovery actively work upon memory through techniques that
act upon trauma (such as counselling) and treating the memory inherent
within the visual landscape (such as memorialisation). This chapter
explores the ways in which disaster recovery is practised through the