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Title: Seeing the Dead: Giving Visibility to the Victims of Road Trauma with Roadside Memorials
Contributor(s): Clark, Jennifer Rose (author)
Publication Date: 2007
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Abstract: In the film, 'The Sixth Sense', Cole Sear is a little boy who sees dead people. He sees them everywhere. A dead cyclist, the recent victim of a road crash, appears at the boy's window as he sits in his mother's car. Although we all share the road with the dead, to most of us they are invisible, forgotten, unremarkable and denied but journalist Mark Day can not get Gary 'Rats' Swain out of his mind. 'Rats' is dead and a roadside memorial marks the spot where he was incinerated in a motorbike crash; the fire was so intense a section of the roadway melted. Now Day can 'see' Rats warning him to take care on the road. Roadside memorials bring a dimensional presence to the invisible road dead by creating a symbolic corporeality so that we can all 'see' them without relying on a 'sixth sense'. Furthermore, when roadside memorials are reproduced in cultural contexts, they help to create new narratives of road travel that include the invisible and personalise, localise and legitimise the ordinary road trauma victim.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Roadside Memorials: A Multidisciplinary Approach, p. 82-93
Publisher: EMU Press
Place of Publication: Armidale, N.S.W.
ISBN: 9780957700932
Field of Research (FOR): 210399 Historical Studies not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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