Dr Chantal Kesteloot, Dr Anne-Marie Van Broeck, Professor Dominique Vanneste and Professor Laurence van Ypersele

The commemoration of Armistice Day will have a particular dimension in 2018. This will be the end of a four-year unprecedented commemorative wave sweeping over almost all over the world. The aim of this contribution is to present the first results of an analysis of the way Belgian society has commemorated the anniversary of November 11, 1918. We will focus on commemorations organized in public space but also on the way the media (traditional as well as new social networks) related this event.

The idea is not only to give an overview of the ceremonies organized in several Belgian cities (with different approaches of the memory of the war) but also to analyze how participants have experienced this event. We will try to answer some difficult questions such as “What does it mean to take part at a commemorative event?”; “Why are people still interested in the First World War and why is this commemoration in particular important for them?”

This multidisciplinary contribution will also focus on the actors, in the use of space, in the use of intangibles such as music, gestures, public speeches, rituals and interaction among actors and audience (participation, exchanges).