WAR & PEACE SYMPOSIUM: 13 October 2012

War & Peace

Memorialisation: Commemorating the Past, Creating the Future

Memorialisation is the process of preserving memories of people or events or places, both physically and virtually. Memorialisation involves heritage, memory and identity. 

It is an important feature of our collective existence: memorials function to help us remember events of local and regional importance and of personal impact and significance through the generations. Psychologically necessary, they provide points for emotional expression and healing. They are intended to symbolise shared communal values, but they are often controversial. 

How can we manage heritage in a meaningful way? What kind of memorials are fitting? Who or what is being memorialised and how? Who is not included? What forms can memorialisation take?

This symposium, taking place as it does in Dover, is particularly relevant with Dover now at a crossroads regarding its future heritage development: with much discussion around the proposed developments at Farthingloe and the Western Heights and controversy around the proposal for a National World War II War Memorial, the Dover Virtual War Memorial project, the sale of part of the White Cliffs of Dover and of the Port of Dover. 

Organised together with Dover Museum, this one-day Symposium will take place at the Roundhouse Theatre, Dover Discovery Centre, Market Square, Dover, Kent, CT16 1PB, on Saturday 13 October 2012, 11am – 6pm.

The symposium will start with a tour of the Western Heights and Drop Redoubt with Mandy Whall and Tracy Stewart from the Western Heights Preservation Society followed by lunch and presentations by a variety of invited speakers.


10.45am: Meet at Dover Museum, Market Square, CT16 1PB for Western Heights tour

1pm: Lunch at Dover Discovery Centre

1.45pm: Presentations

  •  Jon Iveson, Head Curator Dover Museum, Introduction to Dover’s history
  •  Dr Jonathon Charley, University of Strathclyde, Social history of towns and buildings
  •  Matthias Koch, Photographer, presenting his work.
  •  Marilyn Stephenson-Knight, Founder of the Dover virtual war memorial project
  •  Dr Tim Strangleman, Professor in Sociology University of Kent, Memorialisation of Work as exemplified  in  the DAD documentary film production Watermark
  • Composer Nigel Clarke, Musician Peter Sheppard-Skaerved and Storyteller Malene Skærved presentation: Memorialisation through composition and storytelling.

4.30pm: Move to Dover museum to view The Voyagers by Clare Smith, in the Bronze Age Boat Gallery, including Philippe Bazin’s un bateau albanais

  • Chris Burke will be reading an extract from William Cobbet’s 1830’s travel journal  ‘Rural Rides‘ with his comments and observations upon his visit to Dover

Click here to book your place


Mandy Whall and Tracy Stewart of The Western Heights Preservation Society

(WHPS) is a volunteer-run organisation set up for the conservation, preservation, and interpretation of the Western Heights fortifications in Dover. It was established in July 2000 with the following aims:

  • Promoting and publicising the Western Heights
  • Clearing, tidying and protecting the built heritage.
  • Collecting and spreading information about the Heights.
  • Working towards improving public access to parts of the site that are currently inaccessible.

Joanna Jones lives in Dover. She graduated from the Byam Shaw school of Art in 1967 and the Royal Academy schools in 1970. She was co-founder of the London studio collective The Works, before leaving for Germany in 1978, returning to the UK in 1997. In Germany she found a way to fuse what had interested her in her work in Performance Art in the 1970’s with her painting practice using a fluid egg tempera. She continues to exhibit her paintings nationally and internationally and her work is held in private and public collections throughout the world. In 2006 she extended her performative practice into the public realm, founding Dover Arts Development with Clare Smith. 

Jon Iveson took a history degree at University College, Wales in 1983.  On leaving university he became Assistant Curator at Aldershot Military Museum, later becoming Curator.  He joined Dover Museum in 1989 as Assistant Curator and became Curator in 2000.  He is now Museums and Tourism Manager for Dover District Council.  He specialises in military history and fortifications. 

Jonathan Charley lives in Glasgow where he is currently Director of Cultural Studies in the Department of Architecture at the University of Strathclyde having previously been the Director of the M.Arch in Advanced Architectural Design. He studied Architecture in London and Moscow and before entering academia worked for seven years in an architects’ and builders’ collective in east London. He has lectured across Europe and Brazil, was a founder member of the cooperative GLAS, and publishes in a variety of media on the political, social and cultural history of buildings and cities. His most recent work was the co-edited volume Writing the Modern City (2011) that explored the relationship between architecture, literature, and modernity, and a new collection of his essays Memories of Cities: Trips and Manifestos, is due to be published in the autumn of 2012. He is currently writing the third book in this trilogy called City X: the Urban Archaeology of Karl Marx.

Matthias Koch studied Architecture at the University of Hannover and Fine Arts with Professor Heinrich Riebesehl followed by academic studies of art with photography at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Germany. He was an Honours student in the master class of Professor Bernd Becher.

Matthias Koch takes photographs of formerly relevant historical sites. His interest is the overlap of two layers of time. Places, where previously something particular happened, might only have a few reminders left today or might be entirely different. Similar to the distance of time to the historical event, Matthias Koch chooses the distanced perspective of a heightened viewpoint to gain a broad overview. For this purpose, he photographs from the top of the ladder of his retired fire engine.

Marilyn Stephenson-Knight has a background in cultural history and educational television production. Maggie Stephenson-Knight and Simon John Chambers founded The Dover WarMemorial Project (DWMP) on Remembrance Sunday 2005. Unlike conventional War Memorials, the DWMP commemorates the Fallen from our Frontline Town as the
individual and precious people they were. Remembered alongside them on Dover’s Virtual Memorial at www.doverwarmemorialproject.org.uk are the families and friends who loved and mourned them. Through many initiatives including exhibitions, talks, events, publications, and educational projects, the DWMP works in the past, the present, and for the future to ensure those who gave all they could are never forgotten.

Tim Strangleman, AcSS is Professor in Sociology at the University of Kent, Canterbury where he teaches social research methods, sociology of work, deindustrialisation, unemployment, and social class. He is a qualitative researcher who combines oral history, semi-structured interviews alongside visual methods and approaches. He also uses auto/biography and archive material as part of his research. He has carried out research projects in the railway, mining, brewing, construction and engineering sectors.  He has also studied the NHS, teachers and bankers.  He is interested in changing work identity and meaning and the impact of deindustrialisation on communities. He has written two books Work identity at the end of the line? Privatisation and culture change in the UK railway industry, 2004, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan Work and Society: Sociological Approaches, Themes and methods, 2008, London, Routledge, with Tracey Warren

Nigel Clarke began his life as a military bandsman but a developing interest in composition took him to the Royal Academy of Music, where his talent won him several awards, including the Queen’s Commendation for excellence. Clarke has been working with violinist Peter Sheppard- Skaerved for over two decades, and this collaboration has resulted in two violin concertos and several works of smaller mediums. Clarke is recognised internationally, and he has undertaken many residencies, Professorships and Associate Composer positions. His music is performed around the world.

Peter Sheppard-Skaerved is Viotti Lecturer at the Royal Academy of Music, and leader of the Kreutzer Quartet. An internationally recognised virtuoso violinist, he has unparalleled experience of collaborating with museums and galleries on major projects, most recently the critically and publicly acclaimed ‘Only Connect’ which he curated at the National Portrait Gallery in 2011. He has made site-specific projects involving diverse performers in challenging spaces in the Americas and Europe, with a particular focus in the Balkan States.Previous professional collaborations with Nigel Clarke have resulted in a series of groundbreaking works for solo violin, violin and ensemble, violin and orchestra, and chamber works, performed all over the world.

Malene Sheppard Skærvedteaches fiction writing at Birkbeck College and Goldsmith University. Her work hinges on the relationship between travelling performers and writings, and their sense of place. This is reflected in her biographical work on Marlene Dietrich and Hans Christian Anderson.  Her creation of a personal mythology is deeply rooted in people’s use of storytelling to facilitate travel, crafts, religion and the day-to-day.

Clare Smith has an MA in Fine Art from Central St Martins, London. Her work is concerned with abstraction as a means of expressing the human condition and with notions of authorship and authenticity. She co-founded DAD in 2006 with Joanna Jones and sees DAD and her public realm work as “reciprocity” and as a means of making deep connections. She often uses thread and stitching in her work, both in her practice and as director of DAD, enjoying the symbolism and metaphorical content it enables.

Philippe Bazin was one of the photographers chosen for the DAD Photography Commissions 07/08, a strand of the Embarkation project. Since early 2000, his art has developed around the notions of joining faces and landscape, whether via photography or with film. In the mid 1990s, his practice focused on the human face interpreted through large format black and white images of the elderly,  newborns, adolescents and prisoners. Bazin’s specific focus has been to explore the interconnection between the processes of work and their spectacle, creating a sense of the monumental from everyday activities.

Chris Burke attended a Grammar School in the East Midlands. “The only thing I got a prize for was handwriting! Good at Drawing and Painting and reading Literature aloud.No good at exams – which is what the Grammar School was about. I attended Belfast and Nottingham Colleges of Art but dropped out. Teacher Training at Goldsmiths – Main Subjects Literature and Drama. I picked up Drawing and Painting again a few years later, teaching English in Spain. Drawing and Writing and some Acting and – by then – Supply teaching. BA Architecture – University of North London – dropped out after 2 years (1998) City Lit Advanced Portfolio Course – completed 2000. Completed my BA Fine Art (St Martin’s College of Art) in 2005.”


Image by Chris Burke