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Chapter Summary

Monuments and memorials are habitually legitimated as tributes to those who died or in honour of those who made an important contribution in past, but in reality monuments are primarily built for the sake of the living, and for future generations. They are stages for enactment of public commemoration, for the dramatisation of the past, for the telling of emotional narratives and their transferral to the younger generation. This is conclusion chapter of the book, which shows that many monument initiatives explicitly attempt to bridge community boundaries by focussing on historical events that involved multi-racial role players. They aim to provide symbols of identification for diverse viewers across racial and ethnic lines, encouraging people to think of themselves as South Africans first. Such monuments are designed to serve as an integrating force even for those who had no personal involvement in the events or once occupied the opposite ideological ground.

Keywords: community boundaries; historical events; memorials; monuments; past; public commemoration; South Africans; tribute



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