Commemorative culture and new public rituals

In the Netherlands as well as elsewhere in the world, an extensive commemorative culture regarding “public death” has come about over the past few decades. This commemorative culture involves violent death in the public domain as a result of traffic casualties, violence or national disasters (MH17), as well as the (natural) death of Dutch celebrities (André Hazes, Eberhard van der Laan, Peter R. de Vries).

This research project seeks to understand the persuasive power and popularity of the relatively recent rituals through which people commemorate public death. The project includes a focus on the need to demarcate meaningful locations (“monumentalization”), and the preservation of commemorative materials as a new form of heritage.