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On Commemoration

Global Reflections upon Remembering War

Edited By Catherine Gilbert, Kate McLoughlin and Niall Munro

How, in the twenty-first century, can we do commemoration better? In particular, how can commemoration contribute to post-war reconciliation and reconstruction? In this book, a global roster of distinguished writers, artists, musicians, religious leaders, military veterans and scholars debate these questions and ponder the future of commemoration. They include the world-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tony Horwitz, the award-winning novelists Aminatta Forna and Rachel Seiffert, and the human rights lawyer and Gifford Baillie Prize-winner Philippe Sands. Polemics and reflections together with poetry and creative prose movingly illuminate a subject that speaks to our common humanity.

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Now as Then (Jenny Lewis)


jenny lewis

This is one of the closing poems from Anglo-Welsh poet Jenny Lewis’s collection Taking Mesopotamia (Carcanet, 2014),1 which was inspired by her search for her lost father who fought in the Mesopotamian campaign of the First World War and extends into a wider exploration of the recent Iraq wars. The poem has been translated into Arabic by Taj Kandoura and Adnan al-Sayegh.

Read our footprints on the long road out of Babylon.

They’ll tell you


how the river stopped and fish became tin; how the air

had a taste of marble and our lungs fought for breath

as they turned to stone –


how our selves disappeared

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