Guardians of memory: Mobilizations and conflicts of appropriation around post-terrorist attack memorials in Madrid, London, and Paris

By Gérôme Truc, Maëlle Bazin


Based on three ethnographic settings in Paris, Madrid, and London, this article analyzes the conflicts of appropriation in play surrounding post-terrorist attack memorials. These conflicts reveal a tension between the public memorialization of terrorist attacks and more personal relationships with such events. From this tension emerges a specific category of actors: “guardians of memory,” who feel that it is their duty to mobilize themselves at these sites in order to preserve the memory of the victims.


  • guardians of memory
  • grassroots memorials
  • post-terrorist attack memorials
  • public spaces
  • terrorism
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