We have witnessed a shift from epochal world conflicts once or twice a lifetime to a continual stream of wars demanding our attention. At the same time, highly selected ghosts (eg D-Day, the Tet Offensive, and 9/11) haunt our television screens and resurrect old trauma in a soothing narrative guise that strikes a delicate balance between therapy and amnesia. These phenomena are intricately connected.
In this presenttaion I will argue that there is a growing need for those interested in the prevention of warfare, to look more closely at the constitution of social and cultural memory as key arbiters of the imaging and the legitimizing or otherwise of past, present, and future conflict. Indeed one can argue that through today’s heavily mediatized environment, memory and warfare are dynamically and mutually constitutive.