Trauma and Violence to Reconciliation and Reparation and Monument Culture

This assignment is meant to have you analyze, synthesize, and respond to course material.
Write a brief essay focusing on one chapter from Monument Culture: International Perspectives on the Future of Monuments on a Changing World Section Three: Monument Culture: Trauma/Violence and Reconciliation/Reparations . Feel free to pull from the other chapters in the section if needed to create a well-developed analysis.
The essay should highly revolve around a discussion of the twinning of trauma and violence to reconciliation and reparation and monument culture. This is thoroughly covered in each chapter assigned for this section.
This essay should include:
*a clear title that states the chosen chapter
*a brief summary of the chosen chapter
*a brief discussion of the key themes and points
*an analysis of how the chosen chapter demonstrates the twinning of trauma and violence to reconciliation and reparation and monument culture

2 Full Pages (If more pages are needed, please feel free to go past two pages.)
12 pt font
Title Page (not included in the page count).
Reference page (not included in the page count).

Things to note:
Direct quotes need to have in-text citations.
No block quotations (quotes longer than 40 words (MLA).
Reference Page Example :
Macaluso, Laura A. Monument Culture: International Perspectives on the Future of Monuments in a Changing World. Rowman & Littlefield, 2019.
Please follow the rubric:
Criteria Ratings Pts
Content and Analysis
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/ 25 pts
Organization and Structure
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/ 25 pts
Clarity and Conciseness
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/ 25 pts
Engagement in Course Material
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Title: In Defense of Historical Stains How Clean Approaches to the Past Can Keep Us Dirty

Book: Macaluso, Laura A. Monument Culture: International Perspectives on the Future of Monuments in a Changing World (American Association for State and Local History) (pp. 61-70). Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Please chose a title for this essay.
Chapter 6:
CHAPTER 6 In Defense of Historical Stains How Clean Approaches to the Past Can Keep Us Dirty DAN HAUMSCHILD IN BERLIN, GERMANY, THE TOPOGRAPHY OF TERROR DOCUMENTATION Center attempts to represent the crimes of Nazism at the former site of its disciplinary nexus, the Reich Security Main Office. The Topography of Terror is situated on the grounds where men like Heinrich Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich oversaw all the operational facets of the SS and the Gestapo. The terrain that a visitor encounters at the site today looks markedly different than it would have in 1944, however. The building that held the offices of some of the most infamous criminals in human history was mostly destroyed by Allied bombing near the end of the war, and according to James E. Young, was little more than a pile of rubble between 1949 and 1981.1 When the ruins of the Gestapo headquarters were unearthed by accident in 1985, debate about what to do with the space was brought into the limelight,2 and after a lengthy and complex process, Topography of Terror debuted in 1987. It first appeared as a temporary exhibit and then later as a permanent installation in a new building that anchors the present site’s extensive landscape.3 Today, visitors are ushered around the sleek, well-manicured grounds of the former Gestapo headquarters. The terrain, architecture, and display of artifacts adopt the minimalism that has become “the dominant visual style for memorials around the world.”4 Often, memorials to genocide focus on the tragedy of victimization, but at the Topography of Terror, perpetration takes center stage and visitors are asked to consider the experiences of Nazis and bystanders. The clean documentary nature of the exhibit is accentuated by the utilization of photographs as a primary artifact within the Center itself. Undermining the truths evinced by the photographs, docents engage visitors in an examination of what exists beyond the frame of the photo in terms of both composition and the historical and social context. Situated in and contributing to postmodern Berlin, the exhibit calls into question our knowledge of the crimes of Nazism, our capacity to know, and even “the city’s past repression of memory.”5 The Topography of Terror Documentation Center has been the focus of criticism since its finalization in 2010. Indeed, upon its grand reopening, Layla Dawson published a scathing commentary in Architectural Review. She describes the building as a “grey, horizontal gash in the landscape” and the excavated Gestapo headquarters as being “sanitized, as if for military inspection.”6 The lack of focus on victimization and the conceptual destabilization of evil that is tied into the postmodern minimal approach seem to constitute Dawson’s main objection to this form of memorial display: “The imprisoned, tortured and murdered, once held in the cellars, have been relegated to minor roles. However well-meaning its intentions, the architecture projects an obsession with order, control and, ultimately, a lack of humanity.”7 Near the end of Dawson’s single-page review, she prompts the reader with a question that motivates the present examination: “Should a ‘dirty’ history be cleaned up to this extent?”8 As someone who has spent considerable time in Rwanda, Dawson’s contention brings to mind representations that are at the opposite end of the spectrum, and I question whether their “dirtiness” is more or less appropriate to the task of memorialization. For example, at the Ntarama Genocide Memorial Center, the primary memorial artifacts are the skeletal remains of genocide victims. The memorial is situated in a former church, an hour south of the capital of Kigali, where nearly five thousand people were massacred during the 1994 genocide. The “cleanest” part of the exhibit is in the main building. There, the visitor will see bloodstained clothes hung from the trusses or piled in massive heaps along the pews. In one corner, cups, sandals, glasses, and dolls intermingle in a great mound, which gives the visitor a glimpse into the personal nature of the tragedy. Additionally, the skeletal remains of victims are categorized by type and stacked together to give a sense of the magnitude of the slaughter—a shelf full of femurs is juxtaposed to an equally large shelf of skulls. These artifacts are contextualized by the national story that is rendered by the textual display in the church’s nave. As such, the remains of these victims are meant to prompt inductive reasoning about other churches across the country. Moving into even dirtier territory, the outbuildings of Ntarama confront the visitor with the memorial’s most dramatic element. When I first visited the site in 2008, I felt a sense of relief upon entrance to a small nearby classroom, for the space seemed to be devoid of the morbid evidence that is predominant throughout the rest of the grounds. I expected to use the quietude of the partially destroyed building to gather myself. But as I gazed toward my feet, I realized that the dirt floor was strewn with a variety of items, including small shards of bone. To my own shame, I noticed that my foot was pressing a human vertebrae further into the soft floor. With horrified vigilance, I tiptoed about the space, seeing a child-sized ribcage, a shard of a humerus and countless other unidentifiable bones scattered everywhere. Leaving Ntarama, my shirt had acquired the distinct smell that accompanies an unknown tonnage of blood-stained clothes. My shoes and pants were covered in the dust of Ntarama’s floor and whatever had been ground into it during the fourteen-year interval between the genocide and my own presence at the site. In short, I left the space literally carrying the detritus of the genocide and reckoning with the realities of this acquisition in all of its manifestations. OVERCOMING THE COMPARATIVE CHASM The question that grounds this examination is whether Ntarama’s representation of genocide is any more appropriate or more “humane” than the Topography of Terror. Of course, given the significant differences between these two historical events, it is not surprising that their memorial representations would be divergent. Moreover, in attempting to provide a comparative analysis of these two sites, it must be noted outright that these efforts are beset by the social and cultural gap between Germany and Rwanda—both historically and contemporarily. Moreover, it should be acknowledged that my own cultural and academic lens might limit my ability to evaluate these two memorials in equal light. As Nicholas Mirzoeff has suggested, the standard for representation in Western society is abstraction, whereas in non-Western societies, direct representation remains at the forefront.9 Even when we maintain “unquestionably good intentions,” we may become “entangled in the difficulties of using Western-based art practice to represent subaltern culture.”10 In short, the way that Europeans are trained and interested in thinking about genocide lies in stark contrast to the training and interest of non-Europeans. Indeed, as Mirzoeff suggests, we must recognize “that the extremity of the genocide has made visible the incommensurability of Western visual practice, on one hand, and subaltern life, on the other, within the frames currently offered.”11 Perhaps I too will get entangled in the chasm of incommensurability simply by virtue of the fact that I am trained in a Western tradition. The challenge, of course, is to keep the divide between Rwanda and Germany in mind while finding a bridge between them that makes comparison plausible. So rather than using standards of “visual practice,” which are determined almost exclusively by cultural values, I propose comparing these memorials on their relative departure from forms of representation that were predominant during the genocide in question. This seems to be a fair point of contact between Ntarama and the Topography of Terror. Both are invested in the goal of a society that “never again” commits genocide; they are thus committing these forms of representation to the work of social transformation. Within the context of a memorial, social transformation can be accomplished only by altering the way a community receives and is empowered to interpret information. Certainly, both memorials bring us closer to an understanding of genocide, but which practice of representation distinguishes itself more distinctly, those that were manifest during the genocide? Is the sanitized nature of Topography of Terror recapitulating the methodologies of Nazi representation; does the dirty ground of Ntarama cleanse Rwanda of the era of genocide? And which memorial is more effectively prompting its viewers to both never forget the hideous past and never again fall into the social practices that led to these events? It appears that by comparing the relative transformation of representation, we can highlight where each memorial effects the humane work desired by Dawson, me, and others. ‘HUMANE’ WORK While the contexts are vastly different, both posit a positive relationship between never forgetting and never again committing such crimes. To that end, it will be useful to address the particularities of this humane work that observers are hoping to see expressed in public history spaces. According to Roger I. Simon, memorials to genocide are tasked with producing “futurity,” or a “break from the endless repetition of a violent past.”12 This is an eloquent and concise way of accounting for the never again half of the aforementioned couplet. However, Simon is highly critical of the popular conceptualization of what it means to never forget because the tactics that have been taken almost never result in the production of futurity. Simon writes: Public history must provide something more than a version of the past that functions as a fragile “post-it” note placed on the refrigerator to remind us of our obligation and values—a note that is always on the verge of falling off or getting lost amid the clutter of other reminders of the pressing concerns of daily life.13 This Post-it style of remembrance is flawed in two ways. First, it adds additional stress to a system that is already tasked with remembering thousands of other pieces of information that are required simply to survive the trials of daily life. Second, the Post-it approach assumes “a self-evident and measurable usefulness”14 contained by the memories we choose to represent and repeat. This is a problem because our memories and histories of the past—especially the traumatic past—are neither fully knowable nor fully transferrable. Both the Rwandan genocide and the Holocaust are events that, in many ways, escape comprehension, and when we consolidate this fragmentary knowledge into a truncated story that can easily be adhered to the next visitor, we provide a false sense of closure around the subject. Representing the past in this way promotes the idea that the story as it is told contains all the secrets of the tragic past and, therefore, by simply keeping the Post-it safe, social transformation will naturally occur. Because this form of historical acquisition does not challenge visitors to reconsider their own role in history or a necessary continuous relationship to it, it will not result in futurity. Instead, this form of historical representation, which “presume[s] a simple one-way ‘listen and learn’ pedagogy anchored in the notion of the museum as an authoritative legislator,”15 will merely charge the visitor with acquiring and admiring16 seemingly accessible and self-contained pieces of information. Futurity is accomplished through an inheritance of the past rather than simply an acquisition of knowledge. Inheritance entails a relationship with history in which the recipients of its representation are compelled to question “not what they must remember in order to be, but what it means, in light of the experience of the past, to be what they are now.”17 A way of representing the past that encourages inheritance would (1) address the event itself and (2) acknowledge that the event is not yet, and perhaps never can be, fully known or knowable. The admission of unfinished history by the memorial itself demonstrates an open-ended relationship to the past that encourages a visitor to likewise engage. A memorial constructed in this manner invites visitors to participate in the ongoing struggle to understand and, in so doing, demands that they develop their own sense of the past’s meaning.18 In this constellation, the memorial both initiates and invites the visitor to join the “interminably unfinished project of democracy.”19 It is worth noting that Simon’s conception of democracy is decidedly postmodern, derived from the philosophy of Emmanuel Lévinas and Jacques Derrida, among others. So the term democracy here is not what might immediately come to mind—European and American forms of neoliberalism. Instead, democracy is a practical antidote to totalitarianism and fascism insofar as it is constituted by the activity of participatory, critical, community building. In short, democracy is a verb. And in the memorial context, democracy is initiated by the “premise that we have not yet understood how to face the realities of a genocidal fascism in a way that makes possible a hopeful relation between the past and future.”20 This subtle shift encourages the visitor to partake in the ongoing project and provides a clear image of what is at stake. DIRTY OR CLEAN? To return to the comparison, we can say with certainty that if either Rwanda’s Ntarama or Germany’s Topography of Terror accomplished the task set forth by Roger I. Simon, it would be departing dramatically from the forms of representation that were prevalent during each country’s era of genocide. For while the differences between the Holocaust and the Rwandan genocide are too exceptional to enumerate here, both of them were also notable for totalizing ideologies, strong propaganda programs, and a culture of terror that coerced everyday individuals to obey a murderous authority or to look the other way. Simon’s vision of democracy, therefore, is useful for imagining futurity in either context. He establishes an ideal on a distant horizon toward which every memorial should aim. In an attempt to establish a fair bridge between Ntarama and Topography of Terror, we must not evaluate them on their relative proximity to Simon’s ideal, steeped as it is in a culture that favors the German example. Rather, we must see to what degree each memorial generates a representation of history that departs from the representations that dominated the genocidal eras. Asked another way, how far have they come toward futurity from their starting points? This orientation requires a brief review of the way that the genocide was represented in each context at the moment it was occurring. Thereafter, we can briefly return to the memorials themselves to garner a view of how they distinguish themselves from the era they historicize. Here again, Nicholas Mirzoeff provides an excellent entry point to the Rwandan case. He situates the Rwandan genocide as “a form of mediated representation.”21 This is not to take away from the reality of the event but to suggest that “it was also symbolic in form and practice.”22 The brutality and exceptional pace of violence during the one hundred-day span of the genocide were not exclusively the result of historical conditions. Hutu fear and anger were expressed through the close-range decimation of their enemies. Moreover, the propaganda machine of the time, Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines, promoted visible and visceral forms of rape, assault, and murder. According to Mirzoeff, “the manual labor of the genocide was not a sign of Rwanda’s primitivism but a symbolic act. The genocide was presented throughout as ‘work,’ and machetes and firearms were used as ‘tools.’”23 In 1994, the goal of umuganda, the Kinyarwanda word and long-standing tradition of “communal work,” was the creation of a new and safe Rwanda.24 For this work to be deemed complete, it had to be verifiable by the corpses of Rwanda’s mortal enemy, Tutsis. From the moment it began, there was no secrecy about the genocide. As violence spread and bodies began piling up, those who were ordering the massacres paid no mind to covering their tracks. This was not an error or a miscalculation; on the contrary, “the genocide was drawing a ‘world picture,’ or engaged in ‘world making,’ creating a world that was now visibly different because it was ethnically the same.”25 The indisputable death of the “Others,” represented by their mutilated and lifeless bodies, was a requirement of the genocide’s intended work. If we employ the language of Simon here, we could say that the génocidaires promised futurity through the visible death of the enemy, keeping the massacre before the eyes of both the victor and the not yet vanquished. By utilizing the bodies of the slain in their genocide memorials, the Rwandan government employs a similar representational method to their genocidal predecessors. At memorials like Ntarama and Murambi—wherein the mummified corpses of victims lie accessibly strewn about the rooms where they were slain—the Rwandan government represents the genocide by preserving the scenes of the crime. As it was in 1994, the genocide remains “unavoidable” precisely because the authority has made the choice to leave visible its destructive traces. As Mirzoeff suggests, In these “cities of the dead,” the departed remain in all senses, for they are not segregated from the living, in the manner of the cemetery, but have taken over key venues of civil society such as churches and schools. They are not gone in order not to be forgotten.26 As I have argued elsewhere,27 the utilization of death and the dead constitutes a form of what Achille Mbembe calls necropolitics. Bodies28 are left to mark the spaces of a sovereign’s influence, to represent both the fact of an authority’s existence and give weight to the cost of contending with that authority. Rwandan memorials complicate Mbembe’s definition, but when “everyday experience constantly offers the possibility of the recurrence of genocide,”29 the representational overlap is made uncomfortably clear. In its dirty memorialization of the genocide, the Rwandan government leaves little space for visitors to reckon with their inheritance of a historical stain. Ntarama’s dust was instead stuck to me like a Post-it. It confronted me directly, but rather than asking me to engage, it simply demanded that I receive. Furthermore, the shame associated with the direct encounter with death is the government’s method for generating futurity. But shame reinforces an edict of prohibition “that reduces the significance of this history to ‘we must not let the past be repeated.’”30 Furthermore, it binds the visitor to the authoritative account that is presented rather than encouraging each individual to inherit the task of remembrance. Ironically, the dirtiness of the exhibit cleanses the story that it represents by cutting off the visitor’s access to elements of the past that are not consolidated by the bodies of victims and the accompanying state-sponsored story. During the Holocaust, the intention was to completely burn, or eradicate, all traces of the Nazi enemy. Though in the open during its early stages in Poland, the Holocaust receded further and further from the public eye as it intensified. Those who ordered the murder, those who carried out the orders, and those who were killed were all enveloped by a “secret art”31 that rendered bodies invisible and displaced culpability. The Holocaust was not addressed directly but euphemistically through catch phrases that further disrupted one’s capacity to understand the realities of the ongoing slaughter. Despite the intentionally vague rhetoric about the means of dealing with the “Jewish problem,” a unifying national story was available in print, on the radio, and in film; these stories promised futurity through ideological alignment and social, political, and racial homogenization. At the Topography of Terror, the era of Nazism and the Holocaust is represented through expositional photographs. As an exposition, the memorial antagonizes the modus operandi of the Nazi era. Rather than secrecy and allegiance, it shows both the veil and the people behind it. The memorial challenges visitors to design their own conclusions about the meaning of each artifact, for it is not heavy-handed and docents generate enough space to encourage each visitor to “read” the photographs before revealing facts about the image. Even when they expose elements of the photo or its context that would be invisible to the untrained eye, docents encourage an “open-ended interrogation . . . in which one’s thinking is never just a conversation one has with oneself but a speaking and listening within which others are needed.”32 The visitor is therefore called upon to wrestle with history’s gray areas: to see the laughing Nazis as human beings while attending to the evil they stood for and enacted. Photographs hang in space rather than being plastered to the walls. They sway and shift with the drafts and are occasionally bumped by the crowds. Even in this subtle way, they interact with the present, momentary environment. Furthermore, photos are positioned in such a way that in some sight lines, one will catch the legs of another visitor occupying the space where Heinrich Himmler’s ought to be. Thus, while the exposition attests to the fact of mass murder, it also encourages visitors to think beyond the frame and draw their own conclusions about each artifact’s meaning. The Topography of Terror promises futurity through each visitor’s active attempt to reconcile humanity with evil. The clean lines and minimalist form may indeed replicate the coldness of an industrial killing machine. Representationally, however, the exposition of the human faces that breathed life into this machine and the unequivocal illustration of murderous intent work in opposition to the Nazi order. The call for each individual to reckon with the Holocaust on his or her own terms is clearly a deviation from Nazi representations of history that were absolutist in nature. Ultimately, then, the cleanliness of the Topography of Terror invites the visitor to interact with a dirty, messy past that it deems to be not fully known. The indelible historical stain is represented with both depth and dimension that demand further examination, enticing visitors to inherit the past rather than simply tack it to their memory. Layla Dawson’s concerns about the sterilization of history are fair and seem derived from a genuine concern for keeping the past situated in a context that represents something true. However, as a space for public history, the memorial is tasked with providing an educational rendering of the past that can be accessed by visitors in a way that allows them to inherit the past. Perhaps in Dawson’s mind, the Holocaust should rightly be represented as a bloody horror show. But at Ntarama in Rwanda, we see that by confronting the visitor with death and its subsequent shame, the Rwandan government replicates forms of representation that dominated during the era of genocide. If the ultimate goal of the memorial is to participate in a project of futurity—which is to say, the enduring attempt to never again commit such crimes—models of representing the past that were employed for evil purposes should at least be complicated if not directly antagonized. Through this brief comparison to dirtier forms of representation, we must acknowledge that the Topography of Terror actually instantiates an enduring confrontation with the past precisely through its cleanliness. I believe that, in due time, Rwanda will begin to feel comfortable with transitioning away from displays like Ntarama. Rwandans have had fifty fewer years to deal with the consequences of the genocide than their German counterparts, and their most pressing concern remains proving that it happened rather than opening up conversations about why it happened and what it means. If they intend to move on from the genocide, however, they will need to generate their own versions of memorialization that distinguish themselves from representational models that were employed by those who pursued genocidal aims. NOTES 1. James E. Young, The Texture of Memory: Holocaust Memorials and Meaning (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993), 86. 2. Young, The Texture of Memory, 88. 3. See ibid., chapter 3, for a lengthier rendition of the site’s history. 4. Nicholas Mirzoeff, “Invisible Again: Rwandan and Representation after Genocide,” African Arts 38, no. 3 (2005): 47. 5. Young, The Texture of Memory, 89. 6. Layla Dawson, “Berlin, Germany—Topography of Terror Has Washed Away Too Much Dirt in Presenting Nazi History,” Architectural Review 227, no. 1361 (2010), 29. 7. Dawson, “Berlin, Germany,” 29. 8. Ibid. 9. Mirzoeff, “Invisible Again,” 87. 10. Ibid. 11. Ibid., 89. 12. Rodger I. Simon, “Museums, Civic Life, and the Educative Force of Remembrance,” The Journal of Museum Education 31, no. 2 (2006), 120. 13. Simon, “Museums, Civic Life, and the Educative Force of Remembrance,” 116. 14. Ibid. 15. Ibid. 16. Ibid., 115. 17. Ibid., 119. 18. Ibid., 118–19. 19. Ibid., 114. 20. Ibid., 118. 21. Mirzoeff, “Invisible Again,” 37. 22. Ibid. 23. Ibid., 39. 24. Ibid., 39. See also Mahmoud Mamdani, When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001). 25. Mirzoeff, “Invisible Again,” 87. 26. Ibid., 90. 27. See Daniel Haumschild, “Inappropriate Transgressions: Reanimating Necro-politics via Memorialization in Rwanda,” in Transitional Justice and Education: Engaging Young People in Peacebuilding and Reconciliation, ed. Clara Ramírez-Barat and Martina Schulze (Göttingen: V&R Academic 2018), 143–58. 28. See Achille Mbembe, “Necropolitics,” trans. Libby Meintjes, Public Culture 15, no. 1 (2003): 11–40. 29. Mirzoeff, “Invisible Again,” 90. 30. Simon, “Museums, Civic Life, and the Educative Force of Remembrance,” 118. 31. Mirzoeff, “Invisible Again,” 87. 32. Simon, “Museums, Civic Life, and the Educative Force of Remembrance,” 119.

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