The Life of Memorials: Manifestations of Memory at the Intersection of Public and Private


1000 Paper Cranes

1000 Paper Cranes

In October 1955, Sadako Sasaki, a 12-year-old Japanese girl, died of leukemia caused by radiation from the atomic bomb dropped on her hometown of Hiroshima in 1945. After her diagnosis she attempted to make 1,000 origami cranes, which is believed to bring the creator one wish. Today, Sadako’s story and the tradition of creating cranes has become a poignant reminder of the devastation of war.

How does a story like Sadako’s transform into a memorial?

On this 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we meditate on the process of remembrance. In this exhibit, we explore the life of memorials large and small, public and private, local and international.

We follow their development through a four-part process:

THE EVENT: Who or what merits memorialization?

THE PROCESS: How do we decide to remember something or someone?

THE RESULT: How does society receive the memorial?

MAINTENANCE: How and why do we preserve or forget a memorial?

Be it cranes, statues, or skyscrapers, Team Kenan invites you to examine with us the ways in which we collectively and individually memorialize.  The online exhibit displayed here is a representation of some of the images and items on display in the Perkins Gallery, Duke University Libraries, from July 20-October 16, 2011.

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