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In Morocco, the burial of the deceased is a very important step for the family, during which close ones accompany their dearest person one last time to his final home. Unfortunately, Covid-19 victims’ burial was handled by authorities, as to not spread the virus, preventing families from assisting this ritual that is so important to bring them solace.
The Memento Memorial is a reduced scale and personalized project, that could be duplicated within small communities as needed, to preserve the feeling of uniqueness and to not blend with mass. Under the slogan “A life measured by memories”, it will help grief-stricken community members through three steps: To bury - To remember - To celebrate. It’s all about creating a space that will evolve with the community’s needs, essentially composed of stackable clear boxes with a planter on top.
First, allowing people to mourn and have a burial replacement. Relatives of the victim would fill up a box with memorabilia and place it on the memorial site, creating several curved walls visitors can walk around. The fact that the memorial will be made by the community for the community will make it a place of tremendous significance for people.
Then, helping close ones and outsiders remember the victims. A dedicated app will allow visitors to scan a randomly issued QR Code on the entrance poles, the interface will then show them the path they should follow to find a stranger’s box. Once the visitor arrives near the box, the app displays a picture of the deceased and information about their memorabilia, their passions, and their life.
At last, plants and greenery take over from the planters. We bring closure to the community by springing life on objects meant for the dead, meaning that life goes on and that we should celebrate our lost ones’ lives instead of drowning in sorrow.
The renowned artist Banksy once said: “You die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.”
The “box hunt” is what we imagined to not forget people, with a randomly issued QR code that will push visitors to search for strangers and to know more about them. The whole experience is about making remembrance joyful, and about life rather than death
An experience not unlike the many the spontaneous exhibitions of unity in the middle of the global pandemic, where strangers leaned on strangers, sharing stories, music, and songs to lift up their spirits and find the strength to keep on moving forward.
As the worldwide crisis will only be remembered in numbers and statistics, the Memento Memorial’s goal is to not let the people we lost be forgotten.
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