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The relentless struggle for commemoration

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • This article is an introduction to an issue of Canadian Theatre Review dedicated to the topic of commemoration. This issue was assembled in late summer and early autumn 2017 as the majority of “celebrations” of Canada’s sesquicentennial just concluded. Canada’s 150th anniversary has been characterized by ambivalence and cynicism, particularly in contrast to the year of national jubilation that marked the 1967 centennial. The sesquicentennial sharply follows the official conclusion, in December 2015, of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Residential Schools and its issuing of 94 Calls to Action and the almost simultaneous establishment of a National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. In this issue, we consider how performances preserve memory, create space for public celebration, and expand the range of what we—officially or unofficially—remember together. Our understanding of public memory is premised in three ways: that Canada is, first and foremost, historically and geographically, a settler colony (or settler-invader colony) and a consideration of decolonization and Indigeneity is always necessitated by this history; that memory, particularly officially sanctioned memory, emerges through a complex interrelation between remembering and selective forgetting; and that cultural memories erupt in complex, contradictory, unbidden, and surprising forms.

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  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
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  • License
    © 2018 Couture, S. & Davis-Fisch, H. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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  • Source
    Couture, S., & Davis-Fisch, H. (2018). The relentless struggle for commemoration. Canadian Theatre Review, 174(1), 5-8.
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