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Title: Memorial landscapes : a phenomenology of grief
Author: Wilson Baptist, Karen
ISNI:       0000 0004 2714 7563
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: Edinburgh College of Art
Date of Award: 2010
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Roadside memorials are rebel spaces situated outside normative locations for sites of commemoration. The lived experience of grief opens the gaze of the inquirer toward the poesis of death and traces of sorrow found in the most ordinary of landscapes. A place that initially appears commonplace becomes, under a phenomenological gaze, a location that provides revelatory insights into the relationship between people and landscape. Grounded in the existential phenomenological methodology of Max van Manen (1990), themes emerging from this inquiry into the relationship between grief, death, and landscape align with existential lifeworld themes of spatiality, corporeality, temporality, and relationality. These in turn evolve into a series of experiential strategies of utility to landscape architects interested in expressing the lived experience of grief, death, and landscape in commemorative sites. The experience of reenchantment is advanced as an overarching theme within the inquiry. In the first instance, reenchantment is directed towards the restoration of the lived world following the experience of traumatic death. Reenchantment is also directed towards the development of an expanded field of knowledge that acknowledges the importance of experience in designing memorial landscapes. Finally, reenchantment refers to the reciprocal relationship between people and landscape. Grief brings attention to the redemptive capacity of landscape in the wake of tragic death. Memorial landscapes demonstrate extensive phenomenological breadth -- existing as physical region, an imaginary space of depth and darkness, and a cosmological location of lightness and unification. This spatial complexity allows the commemorative site to host fluctuating conditions within the lifeworld of the bereaved and to provide potentially significant experiences for casual visitors to a given site. Mind, body, and spirit are invited to enter into a state of intertwining -- ecstatic, redemptive, or otherwise -- within the reenchanted memorial landscape.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available