National memory features prominently in the geopolitics of national identity. As is often the case, the question ‘who we are’ is often answered in terms of the answer to the question ‘where do we come from?'. Potentially contested and susceptible to revisions, national memory represents an ongoing process aimed at the production of historical consciousness. Notably, national memory is culturally manifest in the form of a space-time matrix of commemorations that reproduce and introduce history as a contemporary cultural experience (Foote and Azaryahu 2007). In particular, the geography of memory locates history and its representations in space and landscape. As Nuala Johnson observed, ‘space or more particularly territory is as intrinsic to memory as historical consciousness in the definition of national identity’ (1995: 55). Linking together history, memory and territory is essential for the conceptualization of a land as a homeland. No wonder, then, that landscapes and sites that cast a certain version of history into a mold of commemorative permanence belong to the symbolic foundations of modern nationhood (Smith 1991). When associated with historical events and pertaining to national memory, such landscapes and sites conflate historical events and contemporary sights, and in this semiotic capacity substantiate the nation in space (territory) and in time (history and memory).
|Title of host publication
|Memory, Place and Identity
|Subtitle of host publication
|Commemoration and remembrance of war and conflict
|Taylor and Francis
|Number of pages
|Published - 20 May 2016
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2016 selection and editorial material, Danielle Drozdzewski, Sarah De Nardi and Emma Waterton.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Earth and Planetary Sciences
- General Social Sciences