What is the future of COVID-19 memory? Will there be a memorial to remember the lives lost and honor the heroes during the COVID-19 Pandemic? What would memorials to COVID-19 look like, and what role will the politics of the pandemic play in them? Dr. Jay Aronson, professor of science, technology, and society in the department of history and founder for the Center of Human Rights Science at Carnegie Mellon University, and Dr. Adia Benton an associate professor of anthropology at Northwestern University, discuss how memorialization factors into their work on 9/11 and HIV in Sierra Leone (respectively), and possible futures of COVID-19 memorialization. Dr. Benton talks about her work on Sierra Leone and the memory politics of AIDS, Civil War, and Ebola. Dr. Aronson talks about the debates surrounding memorializing 9/11 at ground zero. They both talk about how international, regional, and local politics can overlap in memory spaces and how survivors and bereaved families can feel left out of the memorial process. They also discuss how the fractured politics of the pandemic might affect the form and message of COVID-19 commemorations. For further reading: HIV Exceptionalism: Development through Disease in Sierra Leone Memories of the Slave Trade: Ritual and the Historical Imagination in Sierra Leone Who Owns the Dead?: The Science and Politics of Death at Ground Zero
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