Landscapes of Memory: A Study of Memorialization in Northern Uganda
Ovonji-odida, Philippa Keri
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In the Western world today, memorialization typically occurs at ‘sites of memory’, such as monuments and museums, where people go to remember or learn about the events being commemorated. This approach to memorialization is increasingly being spread to non-western societies around the world. The design of these memorials often fails to accommodate the society’s own cultural approach to commemoration, leading to deserted memorial sites that are seldom used by the people they are intended to serve. This thesis explores the design of memorials within a non-western cultural context, using the remote town of Atiak, Northern Uganda, as a testing ground. It explores how the built environment can be informed by the memorial practices of the Acholi people, and proposes the creation of spaces where different commemorative rituals can take place. Within this proposal, issues of temporality and permanence, celebration of local material culture as well as the parameters surrounding the design of structures in a remote context are addressed. In doing so, this study presents an reinterpretation of memorialization in Northern Uganda which encourages the two current ways of memorialization to supplement each other for the benefit of the community.
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