Shown: The Peterloo Handkerchief, commemorating what came to be known as the Peterloo Massacre of 16th August, 1819.
“Symbolising a separation or death is a necessary part of being able to start thinking about it. During the dictatorship in Argentina, mothers of men and women who had disappeared – no doubt to be tortured and killed by the police and military – would assemble on Thursdays at a public monument to independence in one of Buenos Aires’ main squares. Silently, they would circle the monument, each holding a handkerchief on which was inscribed the name of the missing child and the date of their disappearance. As the psychoanalyst Maud Mannoni pointed out, they were insisting on the minimal symbolic gesture that an inscription mark the dead or departed.
Such inscriptions are a rudimentary form of knowledge, indexing a death or separation rather than hiding it.”
Darian Leader: The New Black – mourning, melancholia and depression (2008)