Introduction: Absence and Trauma in Post-Conflict Memorialisation

Yoav Galai, Luisa Gandolfo, Olivette Otele

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In his poem, B-Movie (1981), Gil Scott-Heron reflected on the election of Ronald Reagan. He wrote, ‘this country wants nostalgia. They want to go back as far as they can. Even if it’s only as far as last week. Not to face now or tomorrow, but to face backwards’ (ibid.). Reagan ran under the slogan ‘Let’s make America great again’, which was later revived by Donald Trump, albeit truncated into the shorter ‘MAGA’. As we are increasingly seeing, ‘they’ are still waiting for a greater future to be imported from the imagined past, and not only in America. When Reagan was elected, it was a time of crisis, with stagflation running amok and a sitting president that wavered in the face of a hostage crisis.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPost-Conflict Memorialization
Subtitle of host publicationMissing Memorials, Absent Bodies
EditorsYoav Galai, Luisa Gandolfo, Olivette Otele
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-54886-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-54887-2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • trauma
  • international relations

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