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On The Sacred

Places in nature and the built environment are made sacred through the actions of humans. Because of this, sacred spaces are symbolically charged environments embedded with historical significance and power. On Friday, October 29, 2021 (Re)claiming Memories will host the Necropolis Politic Symposium focusing on the   theme, “Lo Sagrado/The Sacred.” 

Last year’s symposium dealt with mourning, reclamation, and preservation of BIPOC sacred spaces. This year, we take a step back and dive further into questions surrounding what constitutes sacrality. Who gets to decide what makes a space sacred?  How does one define the sacred? 

Landscapes are imbued with notions of the sacred. This, in turn, determines our relationship with the land, our ancestral links, and our collective identity. The scholar Kathryn Reese-Taylor (2012) cites Knapp and Ashmore (1999) in defining sacred landscapes as “landscapes that have a socio-symbolic aspect of human-environment interaction.” Furthermore, Reese-Taylor elaborates that the sanctity of a place endures so long as the actions performed there remain in the collective memory of a people, thereby (re)creating a history. 

Speakers at the symposium will present on topics related to the preservation of sacred spaces in the BIPOC and Queer communities that include but are not limited to: cemeteries, residential schools and more. We look forward to having soulful and thought-provoking discussions. 

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