In this film, CRIC researcher Dr Paola Filippucci discusses a unique type of commemoration that takes place on the Verdun battlefield, remembering nine villages that were destroyed during the battle of 1916 and were never reconstructed. In 1919 the villages were declared ‘dead for France’ [morts pour la France] and awarded medals, and retained a mayor and municipal councils named by the state. Each municipal commission holds an annual ceremony to commemorate the village’s ‘sacrifice’ for the nation. However new forms of commemoration have also emerged by which descendants of the former inhabitants remember the lost village: heritage trails, excavations of the village remains, searches for archival documents, genealogies and photographs of the pre-war village, some of which are exhibited at the village site. This case study highlights the extent of civilian losses in the Great War, and shows that not only people but also places can be killed in war, with an equally painful impact on communities and individuals.
This film also provides an introduction to a forthcoming book chapter .
For further research information on CRIC's case study in France: War, Landscape and Identity, go to:
SEE other CRIC films on its VIMEO CHANNEL including the reconstruction of Dresden after the Allied Bombing of 1945 and the ongoing controversial anniversary demonstrations at:
The CRIC Research project, (Conflict and Identity) is directed from Cambridge University.It is funded by the European Commission within the Seventh Framework Programme.
Filmed at Jesus College, Cambridge.
Producer: Lindy Fleming
Animation: Prosper Unger-Hamilton
© Film CRIC research project.
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