Talking Stones: The Politics of Memorialization in Post-Conflict Northern Ireland

Talking Stones: The Politics of Memorialization in Post-Conflict Northern Ireland

By: Elisabetta Viggiani (author)Paperback

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If memory was simply about past events, public authorities would never put their ever-shrinking budgets at its service. Rather, memory is actually about the present moment, as Pierre Nora puts it: "Through the past, we venerate above all ourselves." This book examines how collective memory and material culture are used to support present political and ideological needs in contemporary society. Using the memorialization of the Troubles in contemporary Northern Ireland as a case study, this book investigates how non-state, often proscribed, organizations have filled a societal vacuum in the creation of public memorials. In particular, these groups have sifted through the past to propose "official" collective narratives of national identification, historical legitimation, and moral justifications for violence.

About Author

Elisabetta Viggiani participated in numerous research projects carried out by the Institute of Irish Studies at Queen's University Belfast on public displays of identity, political rituals, and symbols in Northern Ireland. She has published in academic journals and co-edited Friends and Foes (2009), two volumes on the themes of friendship and conflict.


List of Figures List of Tables Foreword by Hastings Donnan Acknowledgments List of Abbreviations Introduction: Memorials as Silent Extras or Scripted Actors? * Book Outline Chapter 1. Collective Memory and the Politics of Memorialisation: a Theoretical Overview * Memory in the Social World: Collectiveness versus Individuality * The Shaping of Collective Memory: Present versus Past * Lieux de Memoireas Conveyors of Social Memory * Politicised Remembering: the Nexus between Memory and Power * The Politics of War Memory and Commemoration * The Memory Makers and the Projection of Narratives about the Past * Methodological Framework * Database of Memorials * Survey of Local Population * Interviews * Commemorations Chapter 2. The Armalite and the Paintbrush: a Brief History of Memorialization of the Troubles in Northern Ireland * Commemorating during the Troubles * Funerals and Communal Burials * Annual Commemorations * The Mural Painting Tradition in Northern Ireland * The Early Years * Armed Struggle and Party-political Murals * Post-ceasefire and Peace Process Murals * The 1998 Agreement and the 'Boom' of Permanent Memorialization * Post-Agreement Murals * Permanent Memorials * Memorials to Paramilitary Combatants * Memorials to Civilian Casualties * Memorials to Security Forces * Memorials in Government Buildings, Party Offices, Workplaces and Churches * Commemorative Banners and Memorial Bands * Memorial Publications, Commemorative Pamphlets and Oral History Projects * Memorial Prizes, Awards and Trophies * Post-conflict Commemorations * Peace or Cross-community Memorials Chapter 3. The 'Landscape of Memorialization' in Belfast: Spatial and Temporal Reflections * 'New' Cultural Geography and the Concept of Landscape as 'Text' * Belfast and the Ethnicization of Space * The Spatial Dimension of Memorialization * Memorials as Territorial Markers * Memorials as Aide-Memoires * Memorials as Sacred Places * The Temporal Dimension of Memorialization * Memorials: End of the War or Continuation through Different Means? * Memorials: still here or never again? * Memorials as Identity 'Crutches' Chapter 4. The 'Memory Makers' and the Projection of Narratives of the Troubles * Individual 'Stories' versus the Collective 'History'of the Troubles: the Power of the Narrative * Republican and Loyalist Memorials: the Projection of Opposing Narratives of The Troubles * Two Imagined Communities: Creating a Symbolic National Identification * Cherry-picking from History: Opposing Versions of a Shared Past * Ancestries of Resistance: Manufacturing Genealogies * Forgetting to Remember: Social Amnesia and Euphemization * Delegitimizing the Enemy: Demonization and Stigmatization * Talkative Dead Bodies: the Politics of Commemorations Chapter 5. The Clonard Martyrs Memorial Garden: Constructing a Dominant Republican Narrative * The 1998 Agreement and the Prisoners' 'Issue': the Formation of Ex-prisoners' Groups * The Greater Clonard Ex-Prisoners' Association * Enlisting the 'Unsung Heroes' in the Republican Narrative: Local History and Memorial Projects * The Clonard Martyrs Memorial Garden * Planning Permission and Relationship with Local Authorities * Funding, Building Materials and Manpower * Construction of a Successful Dominant Narrative: Iconography, Language and Historical Selection * Perpetuating Collective Memory: Periodic Commemorations in Clonard Chapter 6. The IRSP/INLA Teach Na Failte Memorial Committee: Constructing a Sectional Republican Narrative * The IRSP/INLA Teach Na Failte Memorial Committee * Reclaiming a Place in History for the INLA: the 1981 Hunger Strike * Advancing a Sectional Narrative of the Troubles: the Belfast Teach Na Failte's Memorial Programme * Unveiling ceremonies * Provisional Republican and Republican Socialist Commemorations * Opposing the Dominant Republican Narrative: Post-1998 Republican Socialist Rhetoric Chapter 7. The 1913 UVF and the Myth of the Somme: Constructing a Loyalist 'Golden Age' * 'Lest We Forget': Loyalist Landscape of Memorialization * 'From the Battlefields of the Somme to the Barricades of the Shankill': Borrowing Legitimacy * Mainstream Unionism, Republicanism and the Modern UVF Narrative * Disraeli Street: an Iconic Cluster of Memory * Loyalist Commemorations in Memory of Paramilitary Casualties * Changing with the History Tune: the Evolution of the UVF Narrative Chapter 8. The UDA Sandy Row Memorial Garden: Attempting a Narrative of Symbolic Accretion * 'You Are now Entering Loyalist Sandy Row' * Tiptoeing through History in Search of Illustrious 'Forefathers' * The Sandy Row Memorial Garden: Attempting to Appropriate the Myth of the Somme * Lay Out and Iconography * Role of Families in the Memorial Process * Remembrance Day * 'What the World Needs now Is Love, Sweet love': 2007 UDA Remembrance Sunday * 'Awakening the Sleeping Giant': Macro and Micropolitics at Commemorations Chapter 9. Dissecting Consensus: Memory Receivers and the Narrative's 'Hidden Transcript' * Paramilitary Groups and Local Communities: a Complex Relationship * Coexisting in Ambivalence: Memorials and Local Residents * Consultation and 'Ownership' * Cohabiting the Same Space * Reasons behind Memorialization * Social Memory * Territorialization * Historical Change * Politico-ideological Exercise Chapter 10. The Memory of the Dead: Seeking Common Ground? * At Last, a Common Ground in Northern Ireland? Appendix A: List of Memorials Appendix B: Emblems and Flags Bibliography Index

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781785333415
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 288
  • ID: 9781785333415
  • weight: 390
  • ISBN10: 1785333410

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