Forgetting the wars: Australian war memorials and amnesia
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Copyright © 2014 - John Stephens
While recent studies have revealed that the rate of memorials appears to be increasing in tandem with the memory boom, this chapter examines the role of forgetfulness in Australian war memorials—notably, the manner in which memorials, and their designs, are active participants in the role of forgetting and in ‘masking’ aspects of war and war memory. Traditional figurative memorials portray the digger as the ideal figure of the classical hero or a type of noble innocent and, in doing so, they preserve mythologies while masking the slaughter of the battlefield and the effects and cost of war to participants and survivors. It is the complex and fluid nature of remembrance and forgetting that is at the heart of this chapter.
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