How landscapes remember

Mitchell, Jon P (2020) How landscapes remember. Material Religion: the Journal of Objects, Art and Belief, 16 (4). pp. 432-451. ISSN 1743-2200

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This paper considers the possibility that as subject or agent, the landscape might have the potential to contain, store or transmit memories of their past, which are engaged experientially as uncanny. In a simple sense it asks why there are some landscapes – or landscape features – that are regarded as spiritually animated by different social groups, at different times. The paper focuses on the Neolithic temple site of Borġ-in-Nadur, in Southern Malta, which as well as having been a site of prehistoric ritual activity has more recently been the site of a significant devotion to the Virgin Mary, who graced the site with regular apparitions, and a focus for national and transnational Goddess pilgrimage. The paper suggests that sites such as Borġ-in-Nadur can be seen as palimpsest landscapes, in which memory is layered such that experiential engagements with them draw the past in to the present, and forwards into the future. The paper examines the intertwining of prehistoric, Catholic and Neo-pagan engagements with Borġ-in-Nadur, extending Pierre Nora’s concept of lieux de memoire (sites of memory) to encompass the milieux de memoire, or memorial environments, which are themselves also context of, and for, the uncanny.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2020 07:35
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2022 02:00

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