Currently viewing the tag: "memorialization"

This is the third of a three part series introducing my new book Memory from the Margins: Ethiopia’s Red Terror Martyrs Memorial Museum (Palgrave 2019). Previously I discussed some of the theoretical framework that informs the study. In this essay, I provide an overview of the how the study of the Red Terror Martyrs […]

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The formulation of ‘memory from the margins’ introduces several key terms. In the first instance, ‘memory’ as a concept is itself composed of multiple elements that arise out of a relationship to the past, and includes ideas of community and ethics. ‘From’ captures the movement that endows memory with disruptive capacity. ‘Margins’ identifies a starting point for narratives that do not fit the dominant story of the present.

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My book Memory from the Margins: Ethiopia’s Red Terror Martyrs Memorial Museum (Palgrave 2019) has just been published and I am launching a three part blog series introducing  the main themes of the volume. In this post, I begin with the two questions that prompted the research behind the book.

The first emerged out […]

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Monuments to Famine

On March 4, 2019 By

Since 1995, more than a hundred memorials to the Irish famine have been erected, from St Stephen’s Green in Dublin to sites in Sydney and Toronto. There are modest memorials in Liverpool and Cardiff – but nothing in London. The closest Britain has come to an apology was in 1997, when Tony Blair acknowledged the ‘deep scars’ of the famine. But the famines in India and Ireland are not yet part of our national story. A public monument, in White- hall, opposite the Treasury, or in St James’s Park, near the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, would be a first step – one we could take actively, rather than prevaricating until apologies are demanded by formerly colonised peoples. The memorial should leave space available to inscribe the names of famines in which British government complicity might come to play a part. ‘Yemen’ will be the first to be added.

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Bridget Conley has a chapter, “Memorial Museums at the Intersection of Politics, Exhibition and Trauma: A study of the Red Terror Martyrs Memorial Museum,” in the newly published, Museum Activism (eds. Robert R. Janes and Richard Sandell, Routledge, 2019). Below is from the Introduction:

Activism, broadly defined as intentional and public provocation of behaviors […]

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Current memorials were built with an implicit confidence in the future, expecting that the arc of history is bending towards justice and prosperity. In an era in which famines are returning, because political leaders don’t care enough about human life to take the elementary steps to prevent or prohibit starvation, the famine memorial needs to sting more. How to commemorate famine in an era when we seem prepared to tolerate starvation, I suggest, is a conversation that is needed today.

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