Memorialization Tools for Systematically Expanding Disaster Risk Reduction Across Space and Time
Reid Basher and Yuichi Ono
International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS), Tohoku University
468-1-S302 Aza-Aoba, Aramaki, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi 980-0845, Japan
Taking a systems perspective, we ask how the experience and lessons of a specific event at one place and one time, such as the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, can be systematically and proactively expanded to other places and maintained into future decades, in order that actors anywhere in the world can access and draw on the intense realities of far distant or long past disasters in their own disaster risk reduction efforts. The idea of “memorial,” defined in the broad sense as something “to preserve remembrance,” provides a conceptual basis to underpin such a systematic expansion. The concept of “memorialization” can thus apply not only to physical monuments but also museums, archives, local markers, media tools, myths, anniversaries, conferences, international mechanisms, and legal and institutional tools. This paper briefly examines the role of each of these for supporting disaster risk reduction efforts.
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