The Cultural Biography of a Western Australian War Memorial
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In common with other western countries, there is resurgence in war commemoration in Australia indicating a serious pursuit of identity and a national story on a collective and personal level. A widespread academic and popular interest in war memory and material culture such as war memorials has emerged. War memorials often find their way on to heritage registers. This paper advances cultural biography as an approach to determine the significance of war memorials arguing that this may give a deeper understanding of its community meaning than present methods. Emerging in archaeology cultural biography considers the way that social interactions between people and objects over time create meaning. Using the Katanning war memorial statue in Western Australia as a case study, this paper argues that a cultural biographical approach may uncover a deeper cultural significance resulting from a focus on relationships than from the traditional focus on the memorial as object.
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