Terrifying Grief

Sam Trubridge


Our everyday life will never fill it. And yet that empty space is waiting for Life. We took everything with us, brought back everything, except Life!…
(Appia, 1922: 135)

This paper examines the structures (performative, architectural, and cultural) that are produced in response to the crisis of large-scale fatality, disaster, and bloodshed. It responds to the statement in Robert Bevan’s book The Destruction of Memory: Architecture at War, that ‘[t]here is a danger in life becoming reified in permanent honour to memories of suffering’ (2006: 176), elaborating on this statement with the suggestion that expressions of grief can quickly become acts of aggression, thus turning the victim into a perpetrator.

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