Where are all the women? Public memory, gender and memorialisation in contemporary Belfast

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapport/proceedingBidrag til bog/antologiForskningpeer review

There have been many heritage implications of the Belfast Agreement (1998); especially for a peace accord that does not explicitly reference the term in its carefully chosen words. While some of these were foreseen at the time of drafting – including the need to recognize diverse language communities as well as the respectful use of symbols and emblems – others were less evident at the time. The issue of ‘dealing with the past’ remains a difficult issue that theAgreement chose to bypass but which has provoked various answers at grassroots levels in the intervening years to the present. The proliferation of memorials in urban landscapes, in particular in traditionally working class areas of Belfast, has seen some locales become veritable memorial landscapes. Sections of West, East and North are almost overrun with geographically significant and often emotive memorials of various perspectives, forms, sizes and levels of permanence. They not only reflect, but also direct, localized public memory alongside the public art, painted kerbstones, and flags they compliment and compete with for attention. Where does gender factor into this development? This paper will argue that although there has been uneven and localized development, memorial practices are important in how they present the past. They not only skew localized memories of their areas in terms of spectacular events, stark dichotomies of victims/perpetrators and emphasis on particular perspectives they also often flatten the experiences of women, if not eradicate them altogether. Taking examples from South and East Belfast as case-studies this paper argues that the emphasis on male experiences and perspectives is particularly problematic in terms of memorialisation and there is a need to consider their role in placemaking, moulding of public memory, and reinforcing enduringly androcentric places.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TitelPost-Conflict Heritage
RedaktørerElizabeth Crooke
ForlagPalgrave Macmillan
Udgivelsesårfeb. 2018
StatusUdgivet - feb. 2018

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