Rust and dust: Materiality and the feel of memory at Camp des Milles

Sumartojo, E and Graves, M 2018, 'Rust and dust: Materiality and the feel of memory at Camp des Milles', Journal of Material Culture, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 328-343.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Rust and dust: Materiality and the feel of memory at Camp des Milles
Author(s) Sumartojo, E
Graves, M
Year 2018
Journal name Journal of Material Culture
Volume number 23
Issue number 3
Start page 328
End page 343
Total pages 16
Publisher Sage Publications
Abstract In this article, the authors explore the potential of state-sponsored memory sites to engender multi-chronological and sensorial accounts of the past, and create new meanings for visitors in doing so. They do this by recounting first-hand experiences of the Camp des Milles, a Second World War internment and deportation camp in the south of France, near Aix-en-Provence. Inaugurated in 2012, in addition to being an official lieu de mémoire, Camp des Milles also has an explicit pedagogical function in seeking to raise awareness of racism and anti-Semitism, and how to combat it. The article hinges on accounts of a visit to the site and accompanying photographs, which together provide an empirical starting point for a series of linked concepts that frame their arguments. Beginning with Manning's notion of the 'minor gesture' (The Minor Gesture, 2016), the authors build on recent work on more-than-representational approaches to memory and place, and draw in explorations of materiality and industrial ruins. Overall, they call for a more subtle and atmospheric understanding of state-sponsored memory sites, an understanding that attends to the emergent experiences people have in them, which allow us to understand their affective impact more clearly, and thus their potential to promulgate and intensify their messages.
Subject Social and Cultural Geography
Cultural Studies not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) lieux de mémoire
materiality
memory
minor gesture
sensory ethnography
DOI - identifier 10.1177/1359183518769110
Copyright notice © The Author(s) 2018
ISSN 1359-1835
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