Commemorating Loss | Kate Horigan

Kate Horigan: “So, I’m a folklorist and that means that I’m interested in the creative and traditional things that people do in their everyday lives. Um, but I also study the way that conflict is remembered in different communities. So, when you put those two things together, that means that one of the things I have spent a lot of time observing and trying to learn more about is, um, vernacular commemoration, or the way people remember things like death, disaster, or war in their everyday lives. It might sound like a depressing thing to study, sometimes it is, um, but I also have the privilege of seeing events like this, where people show their incredible strength and I get to see how groups like our Bosnian community here carry on after struggle and honor the memory of lost loved ones in really beautiful and powerful ways. So, in some ways, um, what I study and what we’re doing here today, um, is about loss and death, um, but its also about survival and persistence. Its inspiring and I’m humbled when I see events like this taking place. We remember so that others can’t forget, and we remember in order to be close to those we love.  As the novelist Milan Kundera put it, ‘The struggle of people against power, is the struggle of memory against forgetting.’ And I would add, remembering is also an act of living and of love. Thank you.”