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Freedom Park As National Site Of Identification

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Chapter Summary

Freedom Park was inspired by the concept of the national heroes' acre, with important precedents in neighbouring countries, socialist societies and the postcolonial world. These are in turn rooted in the tradition of the national monument, as it was popularised during the late 18th and early 19th centuries in Western Europe, accompanying and consolidating the emergence of the nation state. This chapter shows that the Freedom Park is different from these models in important ways. Freedom Park combines two strands, namely the concern for the mourning of victims and the attainment of healing on the one hand, and the representation of the country's rich tapestry of diverse heritages and the celebration of the contributions and achievements of iconic leader figures on the other. In terms of the monument-memorial conundrum, one might say Freedom Park qualifies as a combination of the two.

Keywords: diverse heritages; Freedom Park; leader figure; monument-memorial conundrum; mourning; national monument; victims



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