Thus in London on the embankment waiting for dawn, at Kew Gardens and in Washington,D.C., waiting to enter into archives and libraries or for the effects of remaining light at theend of the day, I have found myself around war memorials capturing moments that speak memory to me - words and images, thoughts that travel across time and place asunconstrained as butterflies. Here then a few disparate images of memorials and gardens thatrecall and speak to the fragility and beauty of life in contrast to all the horror revisited in thethree documentaries related to war in
Speak Memory II
. Across the road from the World War Two Memorial on the banks of the Thames, yet un- warmed by the day, in the well kept park across the road, the morning dew is yet fresh onthe memorial sculptures. There pink tulips are subtly opening by the Fawcett memorial,between there and Whitehall, the whole history of public works, social consciousness andEmpire evoked. There we stroll past a history of capitalism and colonialism, of public andprivate gardens as Karl Marx might have on his way to the British Museum. If you know thispark, you might now then recall these memorials to commemorate the various historicevents and important figures in education and welfare placed tastefully along the way.My mind is in motion. It flits across images in history and art, word and image marking moments along the trajectories of the rise and fall of empires. Book after particular book,Ruskin, paintings by Turner and Gerome, a film, a photograph, all manner of works of artconstantly intrude on the conversations in my inner landscape. Sometimes particular scenesin films and documentaries replay unbidden. Is it not the same with you? Towards Whitehall, the camel corps memorial, bronzed power twists. Have you everstopped there and wondered where is Romani or Baharja, Mazar or Daklah? Who died therein 1916, how and why? What happened on Hill 265 in 1917? Of-course, you recognizesome of the places such as Gaza and Amman, the Jordan Valley. But who knows whereMudawara is? And why should you care unless you are Palestinian or Jordanian or Jewish oran Oxford don studying the final conquest and partition of the Ottoman Empire?