March 18, 2011

Bahrain: Crushing the Pearl

Bahrain’s foreign minister, Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, told reporters in Manama that the army brought down the monument because “it was a bad memory.”

from: Bahrain demolishes monument at Pearl Square

Are these people insane?

Bahrain’s leader’s don’t understand how much a public monument, especially a poetic one, is part of the emotional fabric of a city, its destruction only emphasizing its erasure and inviting every citizen going forward to fill in the hole with a memory of  the structure as well as the circumstances surrounding its demise.

Like any physical assault, the “bad memory” that also gets imprinted is this imagery of violence permanently recorded, in which a gem is shattered, the fingers holding it up are publicly crushed and the remains, evoking a hapless creature from the sea, are left abused and lifeless.

(photo: Hamad I Mohammed / Reuters)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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