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.
argues that the meticulous attention to the remembrance activities surrounding the reburial and memorialisation of the Alsatians and the intensity of the vandalism investigation demonstrates that French and Badenese officials were convinced that the local responses contained a symbolic resonance beyond giving eleven more victims of Nazi terror a proper burial. In effect, contemporary Badenese authorities and their French counterparts came 141 Corpses of atonement 141 to view the dead bodies as representative of the larger crimes of the Nazi regime, particularly
living relatives can potentially be traced and be given the option of deciding how to dispose of their dead for the first time. Given the bloody and fractured nature of the Mau Mau movement in Kenya, the struggle for independence and the often violent legacies of these events in postcolonial Kenya, the injustices inflicted on Mau Mau members, sympathisers and veterans by both the colonial and postcolonial state, and the near absence until very recently of official recognition and memorialisation of Mau Mau fighters,56 there are understandable fears that repatriation of
This chapter examines the innovative work of the IODE in memorialisation and considers war memorials as producers of identity, tracing the shifts from colonial British space to national Canadian space. Through its war memorials, the IODE has used memory to produce identity, instilling a shared sense of the past and defining aspirations for the future. It has also demonstrated its capacity for insight, initiative and innovation, exerting efforts well beyond the erecting of stone memorials, and was involved in memorialising Canada's part in war through gendered feminine activities concerned with the care and nurture of the national family. Memorialisation was also achieved through the process of naming. Many IODE chapters were named after war heroes or military contingents, while others took the names of battalions to which they were attached. The IODE has known how to utilise education and encourage young minds to perpetuate imperial and national ideology based upon memorialisation.
Parnell as a crusading saint with wings, holding a sword in his hand ( Figure 8 ). Apart from the obvious link to chivalric masculinity, Edith’s act of memory-keeping replaces her sibling’s mortal flesh with a permanent visual and sacrificial representation. 32 Access to private means enabled such sororal commemorations to visibly represent sibling values of personal significance. Figure 8 Memorial to Major Geoffrey Brooke Parnell, Holy Trinity Church, High Street, Guildford. Memorialisation was not the preserve of the elite. As early as 1916, street
113 5 (Re)cognising the corpse: individuality, identification and multidirectional memorialisation in post-genocide Rwanda Ayala Maurer-Prager Leontius … saw some dead bodies lying near the executioner, and he felt a desire to look at them, and at the same time felt disgust at the thought, and tried to turn aside. For some time he fought with himself and put his hand over his eyes, but in the end the desire got the better of him, and opening his eyes wide with his fingers he ran forward to the bodies, saying, ‘There you are, curse you, have your fill of the
impossible, and its circulation adds to its memorialisation. Thus ‘flash-bulb’ memories may be strongly related to media memories, or mediated forms of memory. However, the concept of flash-bulb memory also illustrates the prioritisation of the visual field in writing on memory recall. With a few exceptions film theorists examining the relationship between history, memory and film have focused upon visual
gens.8 This memorialisation role of the countergift is illustrated in the text of a charter given by Alice de Gant in 1176 whereby she received one gold ring for confirmation of her husband’s grant of her dower. The charter’s closing protocol states, Et in testimonium et in rememorationem dederunt michi predicti monachi unum annulum aureum.9 Although few historians have addressed the significance of countergifts as a guide to the power of noblewomen, Lady Stenton’s suggestion that countergifts to noblewomen represented ‘signs of uneasy social conscience’ on the part
heroism and EDKINS 9781526119032 PRINT.indd 95 22/02/2019 08:34 96 change and the politics of certainty sacrifice that reinforces the national story, survivors or witnesses of traumatic events often prefer a more open form of memorialisation, one that encircles the trauma and challenges the narrative. Practices of memory in relation to traumatic events could thus potentially provide openings for prising apart the forms of sovereign power we call the state and the ways of life produced by such forms of power.4 However, the echo of an ingrained temporal linearity