The Memorialization of Violence and Tragedy: Human Trauma as Heritage

Authored by: G.J. Ashworth

The Ashgate Research Companion to Heritage and Identity

Print publication date:  April  2008
Online publication date:  March  2016

Print ISBN: 9780754649229
eBook ISBN: 9781315613031
Adobe ISBN: 9781317043249


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All heritage is a deliberate selection from pasts in order to satisfy present needs and demands. As such, the question immediately arises as to why past human violence, with the resulting consequences in human trauma and suffering, should be deliberately selected for memorialization. Unhappiness and pain are the lot of much of humanity much of the time, and death is a universal inevitability. Why then should people wish to be reminded of this? Which and whose needs is such a heritage satisfying? As with all heritage, the question of who is selecting such heritage, for what reasons and on whose behalf, must always be posed.

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