Memory Against Forgetting: the Resonance of Bloody Sunday

Kernan, Mark
Date Written:  2017-03-28
Publisher:  Counter Punch
Year Published:  2017
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20593

The museum John guards is a physical manifestation of the moral necessity of remembering that day’s cataclysmic violence. An attempt to remember the silences imposed on peoples’ experiences by time and traumatised memory, and, most of all, murderous rampage. And of course, if those left behind do not remember who will? It certainly will not be the guilty.



Martin McGuinness died last week, one time IRA leader, more recently a British government minister-the irony of even writing that still leaves me a bit incredulous. Inevitably a lot has been written about his ‘journey’ from gunman to peacemaker and his supposed damascene conversion. That as it may be, people like McGuinness don’t appear in an ahistorical vacuum-however much it would seem that way if you had occasion or the misfortune to read much of the coverage on him in much of the British media since last week, and some of the Irish media for that matter. Whatever you think of his actions in the 1970s and 80s, the rotten social and political conditions that produced and formed him were set in stone long before he was even born. And when he came of age, apolitical as most people are at that young age, working class people in his native city of Derry took to the streets to demand civil rights, rights long denied them by a vindictive state that hated and despised them, McGuiness saw them battened and kicked off the streets.

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