A Collective Memory: examining post pandemic commemoration

Covid-19’s duration, and the intensity of measures taken in responding to it, have brought major disruptions with lasting consequences.

Health precautions have redefined our relationship to mortality and death, not least by disrupting the rituals that enable societies to overcome major trauma. Those not directly affected by mourning are often affected by isolation, by difficult or unbearable living conditions, the breakdown of relationships, and the disappearance of faces – those indispensable human landmarks that are now hidden behind masks. The extent of the resulting psychological, social and economic damage is still gradually emerging.

Societies invent ways of remembering the dramatic moments they have experienced in order to re-establish forms of coexistence and acknowledge places forever altered by tragedy. Commemorating the current crisis also requires finding appropriate ways to recognise the true value of roles and service that have proved to be essential to communal life, yet receive so little recognition.

In this podcast, we will consider how we will collectively remember the Covid-19 pandemic. Our speakers will review lessons from history about building resilience through coproduced commemoration. They will also discuss key considerations for policymakers and communities in planning to recognise the enormous losses caused by Covid-19, but also the collective effort to sustain responses to the crisis and support communities most affected by it.


Professor Ana Carden-Coyne – University of Manchester

Professor Norio Maki – University of Kyoto

Associate Professor Ronald Schumann – University of North Texas

Assistant Professor Elyse Zavar – University of North Texas

Host David Powell – Humanitarian & Conflict Response Institute, University of Manchester


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