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Title: ‘If not me, then who?’ Examining engagement with Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration in Britain
Authors: Richardson, John E.
Keywords: Holocaust Memorial Day
Norm circles
Ethnographic discourse analysis
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Taylor and Francis © The Institute for Holocaust Research, at the University of Haifa
Citation: RICHARDSON, J.E., 2017. ‘If not me, then who?’ Examining engagement with Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration in Britain. Dapim: Studies on the Holocaust, 32 (1), pp.22-37.
Abstract: This article explores what motivates ordinary people to become involved with commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD). Whilst there is an expanding academic literature on HMD, public commemoration and the memory work (and politics) of remembrance, a great deal of this commentary and analysis is offered from the first-hand perspective of academics writing about large scale public memorial or museum projects. There is, in contrast, very little published that examines small-scale public participation with HMD, including why people get involved in organising their own commemorative activities. Since 2005, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) has been responsible for organising and promoting HMD commemoration in Britain and, as part of this brief, they organise free workshops across the UK for people interested in organising an activity to mark HMD. This article analyses interviews with the organisers and participants of three workshops that took place during the build up to HMD 2016. In this article, I focus in particular on the ways that interviewees orientate to questions of conscience, and the ways that their personal and political values accord with the aims of HMD. My paper suggests that pedagogic and political potentials of HMD are more varied than academic analysis has thus far suggested, and that further work is needed to explore the engagement of ordinary people in HMD commemoration.
Description: This paper is closed access until 22 September 2019.
Sponsor: This research was funded by a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship.
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1080/23256249.2018.1432253
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/25742
Publisher Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/23256249.2018.1432253
ISSN: 2325-6249
Appears in Collections:Closed Access (Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies)

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