Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Memorials Post I: Alternative Memorials

Anne Stone's Delible, Sachiko Murakami's The Invisibility Exhibit, and West Coast Line Issue 53: Representations of Murdered and Missing Women, for me, serve as far more appropriate 'memorials' to violence against women than either the Marker of Change (Thornton Park) or the Missing Women Memorial (CRAB Park). The ultimate problem I have with public memorials is that they are usually little more than mineral slabs of fixed cultural capital that (1) give a false sense of 'past' to miseries still very present today and (2) allow a feeling of self-satisfied complacency. The forementioned literary works do not have the same fixity: While Murakami's poetry collection does at times specifically discuss the "missing women" of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, it also broadly contemplates the all too familiar and consistent narrative of violence against women and its sadly apathetic address in society; Stone's novel is a fictional engagement with violence, memory, and forgetting; and the West Coast Line anthology offers a mixed form - poetry, short fiction, and essay - consideration of the subject. Each work in some way deals with the very difficulty of memorializing in any medium what is 'missing,' 'lost,' or 'absent.' As well, each involves a certain degree of critical participation -- something memorials blatantly counter.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for these references, Suzanne. Anne Stone's Delible is a favourite--starting with the title alone.