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Connecting with Tragedy Through Landscapes of Memory: Memorial Design, Tourism, and the Post-Genocide Memoryscapes of Cambodia, Rwanda, and Germany 

Shannon Davis and Jacky Bowring


In recent years the act and practice of memorialisation has become increasingly complex due to the influence of globalisation. As the world grows ever smaller, the opportunities offered to us to engage the international memoryscape are many and far-reaching. Memoryscapes—memorial landscapes—are today infused by the tension between local needs and global expectations, offering highly concentrated places in which to investigate the physical expression of memory. Multiple pressures (both internal and global)—including the demands of time, religion, politics, and economics—dictate both the form and narrative expressed by memorials in post-genocide societies. With growing tourist industries, countries emerging from regimes of genocide (such as Cambodia and Rwanda) are today engaging the international visitor through their memoryscapes of genocide. This article explores the post-genocide memoryscapes of Germany, Cambodia, and Rwanda, investigating their ability through memorial form (representational or non-representational), to “connect” international visitors with foreign “memory”—a type of memory with which they may have little previous association.