Remembering atrocity / Columns / The Foreigner

Remembering atrocity. How do we commemorate the horror of 22nd July 2011? The sadly grim answer is that we have plenty of practice in remembering terrorism. The memorial centre in Oslo, 22nd July Centre, draws on humanity's long experience to memorialise a dark day for Norway and the world.                                                           Set in the ground floor of the bombed building, the centre's wide spaces reveal minimalist decoration on, and finishing to, the interior walls. The exhibition covers five rooms.

22july, oslo, utya, paywall



The Foreigner Logo

The Foreigner is an online publication for English speakers living or who have an interest in Norway. Whether it’s a glimpse of news or entertainment you’re after, there’s no need to leave your linguistic armchair. You don’t need to cry over the demise of the English pages of Aftenposten.no, The Foreigner is here!

Norske nyheter på engelsk fra Norge. The Foreigner er en engelskspråklig internett avis for de som bor eller som er interessert i Norge.

Google+ Google+ Twitter Facebook RSS RSS



Columns Article

LATEST:

}

Remembering atrocity

Published on Friday, 4th December, 2015 at 09:30 under the columns category, by Ilan Kelman.
Last Updated on 22nd July 2016 at 11:17.

How do we commemorate the horror of 22nd July 2011?

Inside the 22nd July Centre
Inside the 22nd July Centre
Photo: Ilan Kelman


The sadly grim answer is that we have plenty of practice in remembering terrorism. The memorial centre in Oslo, 22nd July Centre, draws on humanity's long experience to memorialise a dark day for Norway and the world.                                                          

Set in the ground floor of the bombed building, the centre's wide spaces reveal minimalist decoration on, and finishing to, the interior walls. The exhibition covers five rooms.

One room is dedicated to the 77 people murdered, with photos and names where the families permitted. The "Prologue" includes surveillance video of the van being parked with the bomb and the explosion's immediate aftermath.

A large room provides a detailed timeline including tweets, photos, remnants from the van which exploded, and items from Utøya. Next, video interviews of survivors play as part of "Witnesses".

The final space recounts the aftermath, displaying objects used as trial evidence and relevant books. The main text across the displays comprises excerpts from the court verdict convicting the perpetrator.

The overall feel is stark bleakness. Succinct facts, legal prose, and the scattered objects powerfully express events, emotions, and effects. The centre's design subtly conveys moods of shock that it could happen, disgust that it did, and hope and wilfulness that terrorists and terrorism will not gain.

Memorialisation rarely occurs uncontroversially. Some families chose not to include pictures of whom they lost. Many criticise the centre as giving too much prominence to the terrorist and his possessions. Emergency response mistakes made on the day are presented without judgement.

Remembering atrocity is never easy. We do not have the luxury to forget.

Ilan Kelman is a Reader in Risk, Resilience and Global Health at University College London.



Published on Friday, 4th December, 2015 at 09:30 under the columns category, by Ilan Kelman.
Last updated on 22nd July 2016 at 11:17.

This post has the following tags: 22july, oslo, utya, paywall.





  
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!