Sites of memory : memorialisation in the landscape (2001)
AuthorsMorgan, Jo-anne Maryshow all
This study examines the breadth of memorialisation in the cultural landscape in and between Christchurch and Dunedin. To ascertain what has been memorialised and by whom, various methods and resources were used to locate memorials and monuments in different centres. Typologies and databases were constructed from the data collected, and form and iconography were interpreted. Memorials and monuments are numerous and ubiquitous in the landscape and are an integral part of the expression of the New Zealand culture. However, for many people, they are a naturalised part of the landscape. As part of the familiar, people become oblivious to their existence. Individually and collectively, all memorials and monuments, public private and funerary, encapsulate the values and ideas important to communities and act as markers in the growth of the community, and the nation. The ability to read the language of these statements has diminished over time, as many people can no longer read the implicit messeges and only see the literal meaning of the symbols. For the memories embedded in the memorials and monuments to continue to live in. the collective mind, they have to be maintained. Invented traditions, involving rituals and pageantry, actively prevent forgetting. The values and ideals enshrined in the Anzac Day package of Poppy Day, services, parades and war memorials, have over the years been renegotiated, to represent different things to different generations. This is why Anzac Day has survived and remains on of the few public holidays that draws people of all ages together to reflect on individual and collective sacrifice, the New Zealand identity and nationhood.