9/11 Memorial Cultural Memory

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Erika Doss, author of Remembering 9/11: Memorials and Cultural Memory, describes memorials as pieces of art used to show how people want to remember events, typically tragic memories, in their life. In her article, Doss talks about the 9/11 memorials and how the public was feuding over which artists’ pieces should represent the events in the memorials. Throughout the piece, Doss discusses the idea that people were affected differently by the events of 9/11, which is why all people want to see various designs of the memorials. All in all, Doss states that the memorials reflect the Americans sense of loss and pride in the people that died in the 9/11 attacks. This form of memorial art represents past events that Americans suffered through…show more content…
Because Emma’s rape happened on her college campus, in her own dorm, she is carrying around a blue foam top mattress that almost every college student would see in their dorm room. This project is designed to spread awareness to others about how prevalent sexual assault and rape is among women in college, thus having her project displayed on her college campus makes the point even more clear because there are 35.3 incidents of sexual assault per 1,000 female students on a campus, showing that most cases of rape and sexual assault occur on college campuses (“Sexual Assault”). While Emma’s project could spread knowledge about sexual assault and rape if she did this on a random street or in her town somewhere, the fact that it is on a well-known campus spreads awareness to all colleges across the country. After seeing Emma’s project on the news or in articles, many college students can relate to her incident, which makes students stop and take the time to read about the issue being protested against. “Sexual assault is common on United States campuses, with a recent survey of undergraduate women published in the Journal of American College Health showing that 19 percent experienced sexual assault while in college” (Watson). This topic is important to many, especially women who have experienced sexual assault themselves. The more students that hear about this, the more widely spread her message will be,…show more content…
The mattress in the project represents her bringing something so personal and private into the public eye, just as Doss suggests that some feel the 9/11 memorial is bringing a private event that touched their lives into the public for all to see. Emma’s main goal of the project is to ultimately get her rapist kicked out of school, but she knows the likelihood of that occurring is doubtful. So she has started with a secondary goal: to spread awareness about sexual assault and rape on college campuses and to inform others about the issue. Emma has received an enormous amount of support ranging from students that go to Columbia University and from students and adults all across the country. Because of this national attention she is getting, her goal of spreading awareness is successful and ultimately her project has been completed, even though she will still carry around the mattress as long as her rapist attends Columbia University. The public has had a positive, supportive reaction to this piece of memorial art and while she wants to get her rapist expelled, her other goals work to serve the public good. By spreading awareness about rape and making herself an advocate for others who have gone through similar experiences but who are not as open to share their story, Emma is only achieving something that will help society, not hurt

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