The Destruction of Memory

Destruction of Memory
Retrieved from an email sent by Laura Cole on March 2.

Grace Cavanaugh ~ Co-Editor in Chief

The Daura Gallery will screen the film “The Destruction of Memory” on Wednesday, March 4 at 7p.m.

     Laura Cole, coordinator for Academic and Public Engagement for the Daura Gallery said, “Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Tim Slade, this powerful documentary explores the loss of invaluable artwork, objects, and historical sites through war and terrrorism. The last century has seen the rise of “cultural destruction”: the intentional annihilation of irreplaceable artwork, artifacts, historical sites, and their stewards in a desperate attempt to erase collective history and identity. It uses meticulous research and compelling expert interviews to examine how and why cultural destruction has happened, and how the work to protect, salvage, and rebuild can respond. The film introduces heroes who have risked their lives to protect not just other human beings, but their cultural identity, safeguarding a record of who we are.”

     Ashani Parker, a junior who works in the Daura Gallery, said, “[The movie is about] cultural heritage destruction and the ways people are trying to save and prevent the eradication of historical monuments. [It is] all the legal and ethical issues [Museum Study Minor] students have to go [through].”

     According to Cole, the “film is 85 minutes” long, and the screening will be in the Daura Gallery. “We are expecting a good crowd with this film. Attendees are allowed to bring food and drink. Closed containers only, no alcohol,” said Cole.

     Cole continued, “We have done a number of film screenings in the past. Last semester, it was a part of one of our Third Thursday programs, not its own event like it is this time. We showed The New York School in conjunction with our exhibit of works by Connie Fox and William King. We usually try to find a film on a topic relevant to the current exhibition, and The Destruction of Memory, since it looks at the importance of cultural heritage, fits well with this spring’s show, Geometric Aljamia: a Cultural Transliteration. We will continue to host film screenings in the future.”

     Parker said, “[Attendees] will learn more about why ISIS targeted historical monuments and how detrimental the current state of cultural heritage is in unstable countries.”

     Cole finished with, “Protecting cultural heritage is incredibly important, for everyone. Even if it is not your culture or heritage, learning about and striving to understand other cultures is essential to creating a more peaceful world, and to understanding the human experience and its history, in order to take steps for the future. Hopefully this film will help to increase awareness of that fact, and to what is being done to help, what can be done, and how.”