Remembering

Loosely inspired by Chris Harrison’s Sites of Memory I took a few photos on a vague theme of remembrance during this year’s – for want of a much better term – poppy season.

The annual period of commemoration seems to grow ever more controversial with football teams being berated for not sewing poppies onto their shirts to force memorial onto players who may have no connection whatsoever with any war fought by the British forces. The Prime Minister gets it for not bowing properly and there are concerns that the BNP is using the Royal British Legion for its own gain. And in amongst all that you have the simple acts of dignified remembrance.

I’ve tried to find a quote which I’m sure is from The History Boys framed around the unknown soldier and how the lists of names and formalised remembrance that began with the Boer War – I know I’m generalising – is more about collective forgetting about the causes and justification for war and more about collectivising a sacrifice that cannot be objectively criticised. I make no comment that the pitch of remembrance this year has been markedly more fraught as ‘we’ withdraw from Iraq and plunge further into Afghanistan.

It’s something I think I’ll return to properly both photographically and (be warned) philosophically – better prepared and all that – next year. The images don’t really hang together properly yet but should you be that way inclined see the small set of 7 of them on a slideshow here.

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