Why do public monuments play such an important role in memory wars?
AbstractIn this paper I explore the role played by public monuments in the narration of national stories. I examine several monuments that have been built to promote various national narratives, with a particular focus on the South Australian National War Memorial, located in Adelaide, Australia. My analysis reveals that monuments have a dynamic capacity to embody simplified narratives of the past, and to shape collective memory accordingly. I contend that, owing to this capacity, monuments play a significant role in the narration of national stories. I also consider the power of monuments to serve vehicles for the promulgation of dissenting narrative strands. I ultimately argue that the prevalence of such strands reveals that many “memory wars” can never definitively be won—that is, that it is impossible to achieve homogeneity in history.
How to Cite
Deegan, C. (2018). Why do public monuments play such an important role in memory wars?. Constellations, 9(1), 20-33. Retrieved from https://journals.library.ualberta.ca/constellations/index.php/constellations/article/view/29343