|Publications : Chapters
'‘Congested Terrain: Contested Memories.
Visualising the Multiple Spaces of War and Remembrance’'
in James Wallis and David Harvey, (eds.)
Commemorative Spaces of the First World
War: Historical Geographies at the Centenary,
Ashgate, 2017, ISBN: 9781138121188
‘Stasis’ is widely accepted as the pre-eminent condition
of the conflict on the Western Front; a war of congealment, fixity
and stagnant immobility fought from defensive earthworks that were
intended to be temporary but quickly became permanent.
In the battle zones a new spatial order emerged. Beyond the superficial
safety of the front-line parapet was No-Man’s-Land; a liminal,
unknown space, a ‘debateable land’ that could not be
fully owned or controlled. Far beyond lay a green and unspoilt distance,
a ‘Promised Land' that was forever locked in an unattainable
future. This was the domain of imperial development and potential
This chapter explores the spatiality of conflicts on the Great War
battlefield, and draws on the work of several British artists, cartographers
and surveyors who attempted to explore and lend visual form to the
chaos. Through the act of mapping and drawing they attempted to
systematize the outward devastation, whereby trees would become
datum points, emptiness was labelled, and the few fixed features
of the ravaged land became the immutable co-ordinates of a functional
terrain, a strategic field, where maps where predicated as much
on time as of place.