Hi-Phi Nation

How We Memorialize Tragic Events

When respecting and remembering loss collides with the demands of history and politics.

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Episode Notes

When tragedy strikes an individual, a nation, or an entire people, artists and architects are tasked with designing a public display that memorializes the event and its victims. But how do you do that? In this episode, art historian and podcaster Tamar Avishai examines the Denkmal Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., and others to look at how respecting and remembering loss collides with the demands of history and politics. We look at why abstract rather than representational memorials have seemed more resonant in recent years, and whether memorials, no matter how well done, might lose their impact after a single generation. Guest voices include Karen Krolak, James Young, and Michael Hays.

Listen to Seasons 1 through 4 at Hi-Phi Nation.

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About the Show

Hi-Phi Nation is philosophy in story form, integrating narrative journalism with big ideas. We look at stories from everyday life, law, science, popular culture, and strange corners of human experiences that raise thought-provoking questions about things like justice, knowledge, the self, morality, and existence. We then seek answers with the help of academics and philosophers. The show is produced and hosted by Barry Lam of Vassar College.

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Host

  • Barry Lam is the host and producer of the Hi-Phi Nation podcast and is an associate professor of philosophy at Vassar College.

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