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Review: Dead ground by Professor Paul Gough

Written by Paul Coldwell
Published date 17 June 2019

Following the two-day workshop to launch the AHRC-funded Picturing the Invisible Network, I wanted to draw attention to a recent publication by Professor Paul Gough Dead ground: War and peace, remembrance and recovery. A cultural reading of memoryscapes from the Great War, 1914–1918.

This remarkable study is the result of a long engagement with sites of conflict by Gough, who is an accomplished artist, academic and broadcaster. The study examines, amongst other things, the manner in which the first world war landscapes have been portrayed, how  the deserted battlefields can be repopulated by visual methods, and how  is it possible for  the dis-membered parts of the traumatised land be re-remembered with respect and regard to human failing? Throughout there is a sense of attempting to re-imagine what is now invisible, buried both literally and in time. As such it fits very clearly into the scope of our Network and my full review of the book can be read by following this link: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14702029.2019.1607016