We need to talk about statues. No matter where you live, there’s likely to be a couple of them in prominent places, enshrining important events, celebrating local legends or praising notable individuals. Statues and sculptures are often the defining features of a place, a visual … Continue reading Re:visit: women of WWII memorials
I’m proud to publish Re:war’s first guest blog, written by Lindsey Bannister (UK). Lindsey and I share a love for the HBO show Band of Brothers, which follows a company of US paratroopers from D-day to VE-day. Lindsey and her friend Jo have been touring significant locations from World War II for years, following in the footsteps of the soldiers portrayed in the show.
When I logged onto Twitter on the morning of September 11, the first thing that caught my eye was the trending hashtag #neverforget. I wondered briefly why these two words were trending – then, of course, I remembered it was 9/11. The reason I was confused is because I primarily associate the words ‘Never forget’ with the Holocaust, and Auschwitz in particular. I thought it would be interesting to delve into the history of this slogan, and to examine why it has become more universal in American culture.
Just over a month ago I was in Washington DC, where I visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. It was one of the attractions I was really excited to see. The memorial is on the National Mall and thus part of the open-air timeline of American history, together with the many other monuments and the Smithsonian museums. But the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is in a league of its own, especially when compared to the nearby World War II memorial. As it turns out, war memorials designed and/or sculpted by women are few and far between. I wonder why?
Earlier this week, I came across an online documentary in parts made by de Volkskrant, a Dutch newspaper. It’s called Generatie Poetin (‘Generation Putin’) and was made for the occasion of the FIFA World Cup; each episode takes place in one of the playing cities. It’s about young people in Russia today: those who were born during Putin’s regime and are now old enough to vote in the upcoming election. There was one fragment that struck me. It was about a girl in her twenties called Nastja. As a volunteer, she exhumes the graves of German and Russian soldiers on the plains near Stalingrad, modern-day Volgograd, which in 1942 became the stage for the biggest and bloodiest battle of the European theatre of WWII.
I’m not sure if the English subtitles on Youtube work for everyone, so I’ve provided a transcript below just in case.
I am not Jewish, which is why I – and people around me – often wonder why I have such a strong interest in the Holocaust, a part of history that has nothing to do with me directly. But I have always been interested in … Continue reading Re:member – Talking to women about war