In this chapter, I discuss the issue of the need and obligation to remember wars, human rights abuses and other atrocities, versus the, perhaps wholesome, possibility to forget. Commemorations, monuments and memorial museums often have an educational function. ‘To remember’ serves the frequently used slogan ‘never again’ and we have to learn lessons from the past to prevent future atrocities. This approach to memory and dealing with the past that focuses on future generations, is valuable. There are cases, however, in which commemorations do not serve a peaceful future, but again and again fuel the conflicts of the past and dehumanize perpetrators and generations to come. In some cases, monuments lead to aggression as they only relate dominant narratives about the past events, leaving out minority voices. Seen from the perspective of ritual criticism, we might ask: what cultural majority mechanisms tend to value remembering and memorialization more than implicit narration and intentional ‘forgetting’? And who decides how and by what means the past events will be remembered?
|Title of host publication||Absent Ritual. Exploring the ambivalence and dynamics of ritual|
|Editors||Paul Post, Martin Hoondert|
|Place of Publication||Durham|
|Publisher||Carolina Academic Press|
|Number of pages||17|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|
|Name||Ritual Studies Monograph Series|
Hoondert, M. (2019). Non-healing Rituals and how to build a peaceful future: between Memory and Oblivion. In P. Post, & M. Hoondert (Eds.), Absent Ritual. Exploring the ambivalence and dynamics of ritual (pp. 119-135). (Ritual Studies Monograph Series). Carolina Academic Press.