Associate Professor David Harvey
The Mindeparken is the Danish national First World War memorial; over 4000 names of soldiers who died in the conflict – but only those of ‘Danish mindedness’ – appear to be listed. On 11 November, the ceremonies are anticipated to include a short parade and service, choreographed in a ‘military’ style. Recent years have seen speeches from Afghanistan veterans and some singing of nationalist songs, with repeated mention of the First World War and a good deal about (contemporary conflicts in) Afghanistan, but little about the Second World War and Occupation or other conflicts between 1918 and c. 2012.
I will visit the site a few times in preparation, to see how the ‘stage’ is set up, both in the days before, and early that morning. For the event on 11 November, I will watch, take notes and photographs as appropriate. I will collect literature, as previous events have seen several brochures and handouts and songsheets distributed. Temperature/weather dependent, I will stay at the memorial for most of the day, and see who visits and what they do. I also intend to recruit some Masters students to attend commemoration ceremonies in places like Haderslev, Aabenraa, Sønderborg and Tønder, as they will give an interesting range of perspectives.