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Monuments and film-monuments: On the place of works of art in the collective representations of the Vietnam War in the United States

Article

French

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Abstract

`titrebMonuments and filmic monuments. Reflexions about the place of the works of art in the collective representations of the war of Vietnam in the United States`/titrebIn a generic way, we called “memory entrepreneurs” the individuals trying to modify the “collective memory” of a social entity such as a nation. From the case of the memorialisation of the United States Vietnam war, we tried to show that this type of construction or modification of the collective memory could be made, not only through the classic political speech and action, but also by means of artistic works. We thus tried to reconstruct the motivations of these entrepreneurs as well as the meaning of the works created « to modify the collective memory ». In particular, we detailed the process of construction of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the national monument dedicated to the American veterans of the Vietnam war, as well as the interactions between this monument and some fiction films concerning the American- Vietnamese conflict. We used the expression “filmic monuments”, to indicate these fictions the meaning of which is as much commemorative as playful or “aesthetic”.

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