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The geography of things that may become memories: The 2001 earthquake in Kachchh-Gujarat and the politics of rehabilitation in the pre-memorial era

Simpson, Edward and Corbridge, Stuart (2006) 'The geography of things that may become memories: The 2001 earthquake in Kachchh-Gujarat and the politics of rehabilitation in the pre-memorial era.' Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 96 (3). pp. 566-585.

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Abstract

In this paper we focus on the rebuilding of Bhuj and its environs in the period from January 2001 to January 2005. We do so not from the perspective of urban planning or the geography of relief efforts, although both of these enter our narrative. Rather, we consider the ways in which the refashioning of landscapes in this part of Kachchh are being haunted by conflicting accounts of what it is to be Kachchhi, Gujarati or even Indian. In the first half of the paper we give a sense of the chaos that followed the earthquake, and the whirligig of emotions and memories that it set free. In doing so, we contribute to an emerging set of debates on memory and place-making. We argue for an account of memory work that is more fragmentary and less wrapped up with conventional memorial practices than is commonly found in the literature. Our focus here is on the period between the event and its public memorialization: between what might be called the signifier and the signified. During this time memorial practices grew out of numerous private and small-scale projects, and embraced artifacts such as photograph albums and the walls of a house, as well as funerary and calendrical rites and other low-key public dramas.

Item Type: Articles
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of Anthropology and Sociology
ISSN: 00045608
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.1111/j.1467-8306.2006.00706.x
Depositing User: Edward Simpson
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2008 13:59
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/4573

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