When I think of Gallipoli, I think of Australia and New Zealand. Or at least that was the case until I visited the peninsula in 2019. Many more British and Irish soldiers died in Gallipoli than those from Australia or New Zealand. This was not a war fought in the defense of Australia or New Zealand. The Anzac did not bravely defend their own lands, but instead attacked those lands rightly belonging to Turkey.
Derry City has an historical legacy which is at the forefront of its tourism and also its image. These two elements crystallise around the Siege of Derry in 1689 and also the Civil Right’s movement of the 1960’s and the violence which came after. Memorials are not so good at keeping a low profile at a time of high emotions. But some memorials are more embraced than others.
Most of the time I feel war memorials have little to do with the horror of war and have more to do with the expected viewership and even planning laws. The International Sailor in Derry is a great example of compromise for a modern era. A away from the centre of a divided city – unlike the first war memorial when built in the Diamond in Derry 1927 – but includes a double section plinth which has the obvious temptation of being steps for one who wishes to take a photo of oneself along with the handsomely chiselled sculpture. Are war memorials more of a middle class thing, and dying-in-war more for the working class? Keep Reading
Monuments need to be reconsidered in order to see them in a fresh way. But as we have seen from other articles here, they are very much part of their time, and often related to tourism. The Spire was installed in Dublin in 2003, and was hated by more people than it was loved. Now sixteen years later, many Dubliners will walk past without noticing it – yes, even though it is 120 metres high. This summer I wanted to take some photos so I could rediscover the essence of what is the Spire.
While awaiting execution in Pentonville prison Sir Roger Casement sent a letter to his cousin Gertrude Bannister in which he wrote “Take my body back with you and let it lie in the old churchyard in Murlough Bay.”
Like many other resorts, Ballycastle succeeds to remind people about war. Whether you are in Carrickfergus or in Cannes, you must call attention to the World Wars. This is a golden rule. No tourist may be permitted to mentally wander away from the girls in bikinis or sandcastles, when there are trenches and tanks to be considered.
I took a carefree August-time stroll down the La Croisette promenade of Cannes. These are two kilometres of pure laid-back stupor. A dense assortment of casinos, beach-side restaurants, yachts, every kind of chair, with a sumptuous array of plants and flowers. Cannes feels impermanent, as if it were built in 1920, and my first surprise is that of it’s heritage. It is much older than I had imagined. But if there is a self-consciousness in this city, it is one that mirrors the validation of tourists. This was a city built for visitors, and has evolved to meet their needs.