Australian War Memorials: A Nation Reimagined
Since the end of the First World War, the war memorial has become a ubiquitous presence in the Australian commemorative landscape. Serving initially as sites of personal and communal grief and a focus for those intent on nation building, they have proved to be remarkably durable symbols of national identity and communal memory. Yininmadyemi Thou didst let fall (2015) and the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial (2017) are recent additions, ones that seek to respectively recognise the military service of Indigenous Australians and peacekeepers. Both represent a challenge to orthodoxy, the former in subject matter and the latter in style. Yet their capacity to disrupt conventional wisdom is as yet untested. Both may well be subsumed into the broader military narrative that elevates the original Anzacs to the status of founding fathers.
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