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On being moved: art, affect and activation in public commemorations of trauma

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Alison Atkinson-PhillipsORCiD


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Public memorials are designed to move us, to produce affect as an intrinsic part of the creation of meaning. This paper considers two public artworks commissioned to commemorate lived experiences of trauma. It considers these artworks as ‘encountered signs’ that move and unsettle. Unlike traditional memorials (including those using non-traditional forms) which are designed for mourners left behind, these public artworks commemorate pasts that continue to make themselves felt in the present. I argue that these contemporary public memorials draw on diverse elements to create an ‘interval’ of understanding.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Atkinson-Phillips A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Continuum

Year: 2018

Volume: 32

Issue: 3

Pages: 381-392

Print publication date: 30/04/2018

Online publication date: 02/04/2018

Acceptance date: 08/03/2018

ISSN (print): 1030-4312

ISSN (electronic): 1469-3666

Publisher: Taylor & Francis


DOI: 10.1080/10304312.2018.1450493


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