Community Group

a (temporary) memorial to ongoing conflict and war

A makeshift military checkpoint challenges the notions of traditional monuments and memorial spaces by disrupting movement to engage and bring the viewer into the space where they are challenged to interpret the layered meanings of the memorial.

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This project echoes the counter-monument movement by looking to memorial spaces woven through the Halifax cityscape. Traditionally, monuments have been erected to glorify an event, person, or ideology. However the intended meaning of a monument is never fixed but changes depending on the socio-political climate and our understanding of history. Academics, architects, and artists have been deeply engaged with questions regarding the complex reality of commemoration by exploring themes of inversion, absence, abstraction, transparency, reflectivity, the removal of pedestals, and the use of plaques. These contemporary memorial spaces serve to engage and bring the viewer into the space where they have to make an effort to interpret the multiple meanings of the memorial.

Experience a makeshift military checkpoint that blocks the Barrington street entrance of Parade Square. The physical structure restricts movement, forcing people to stop and find another way around an already existing memorial site. This project disrupts the invisibility of ongoing war and acknowledges the soldiers who man the checkpoints and civilians whose lives are rerouted daily. In doing so, the checkpoint will act as a (temporary) memorial to ongoing conflict and war - and to the unheard voices. The temporality of this memorial space reflects the fleeting nature of memory and invites viewers to look inward, if only for a moment. The checkpoint also has two sides, one of civilians and one of the soldiers. There is often a disconnect between the experience of soldiers and civilians and the understanding of the opposing experiences. This tension reflects the inherent power dynamic on a more human level. In this work, the viewer can experience this as they step into the place of the soldier and the civilian.