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The Manchester Briefing on COVID-19: International lessons for local and national government recovery and renewal, Issue 46
The first Manchester Briefing of 2022 explores opportunities for community recovery and resilience through commemoration. This article discusses the unique challenges of considering where, when, and how to commemorate the pandemic, and details various modes of meaningful commemoration for local communities such as public art, collective performances, and intergenerational resilience stories.
he Briefing says the fundamental principles of how to best commemorate the pandemic are largely universal. Drawing from examples of past commemorations, it highlights five different ways of remembering:
- Public art: can serve as an important medium for collective remembrance as it simultaneously records past tragic events for the public at large and engages individual audience members to interpret meanings based on their own experiences and perspectives.
- Memory walls: collages of cherished belongings and/or photographs can be assembled to remember specific people, social communities, or vibrant gathering places lost to tragedy.
- Collective performances: allows for larger groups to gather together at a set time and date to remember. In many instances, these collective events raise donations that help advance recovery or resilience activities.
- Social Media: channels such as community Facebook pages can provide a digital and interactive medium for collectively remembering losses from tragic events.
- Intergenerational resilience stories: the pandemic has left few material artifacts to support remembering, thus necessitating commemoration through storytelling.