Natural disasters and memorials in India and Sri Lanka

27 May 2008, 13:30 - 15:30

CRASSH, 17 Mill Lane

 
Speakers:

Edward Simpson (Lecturer in Anthropology, SOAS)
Malathi de Alwis (Senior Research Fellow, ICES, Colombo)

This article explores some of the competing memorial practices to have emerged after the Gujarat Earthquake of 2001 and along the eastern and southern coasts of Sri Lanka following the tsunami of 2004. In both locations, acts of memorialisation have been inseparable from reconstruction initiatives and broader political currents. In the Gujarat case, this has tied memorials to the politics of religious communalism, regionalism and mainstream Hindu nationalism. In the case of Sri Lanka, memorials have emerged from localized manifestations of the more general patterns of ethnic conflict in the country and political fallibilities of the state. In both cases, politics of all kinds, and at all levels of collective representation, have influenced the ways in which memorials have been designed, located and inaugurated.  

Malathi de Alwis (Senior Research Fellow, ICES, Colombo)
 


 

Part of the Post-Conflict & Post-Crisis Research Colloquium 

Over the next two academic years (2007-2009) the Post-Conflict and Post-Crisis Research Colloquium will seek to establish a number of regularly scheduled and publicised events, ranging from a visiting speaker programme to the extension of its smaller working subgroups (e.g. Religion and Conflict, and the Politics of Space). The group's activities over the first year (2007-2008) will culminate in a major two-day interdisciplinary conference on post-conflict and post-crisis reconstruction. 

All welcome. No registration required.