Keep your Kodak busy: monuments of the Great War
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This paper draws together two elements of the Photography strand in an extensive interdisciplinary research project looking at memorialisation: (i) a literature review (Hutchinson) that explored the significance of photography and photographs to processes of loss and mourning, remembrance, commemoration and memorialisation during the Great War and throughout the years of pilgrimage and battlefield tourism that follow, and (ii) a sequence of photographs, ‘Keep Your Kodak Busy’ (Nicol). The article integrates discussion from the literature with presentation of a selection of the photographs to show how photography as creative practice contributes to an understanding of the economic, social and cultural influences impacting on loss, grief and remembrance, and forms of commemoration and memorialisation in relation to World War One. The article offers a different experience of photography in this context to its more usual and familiar illustrative and documentary role. The research explored how photography and photographs facilitate and mediate the experience of memorialisation, commemoration and remembrance, the role of photographs as vehicles for mourning and remembering and how, in addition to their role as documents of the processes of memorialisation, commemoration and remembrance, photographs are also sites of memory.
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