Shorelines: Choreographies of Remembrance and Forgetting;

Research output: Contributions to books, editions, reports or conference proceedingsChapterpeer-review



Using oceanographer Rachel Carson’s study The Edge of the Sea (1955) to
contextualise tidal spaces, this chapter discusses how constantly shifting and
eroding coastlines act as a site for writing, re-writing and performing acts of
cultural and personal memory. It also considers the ecological impact of
human activity on tidal spaces and their more-than-human inhabitants.
14-18 NOW’s Pages of the Sea, directed by Danny Boyle, invited communities around the United Kingdom to meet on their local beach to
commemorate those who were lost in World War I by marking portraits in
the tidal sands. Choreographer Chloe Smith’s Tidal, performed in
Berwick-upon-Tweed in 2015, was commissioned as a commemorative work
but became an act of personal memorialising when Smith’s brother drowned
prior to the event. Performance company Curious’s Out of Water
(2012–2014), invites participants on a dawn-walk to the shoreline exploring
memory, time, genealogy and water through song and movement. My own
collaborative site-responsive work, Tide Times (2018), created with electroacoustic composer Tim Cooper for the tidal island of Cramond, explores the
multiple identities of place over time. Tide Times encourages audiences to
create their own tidal poems and artworks through a series of invitations in
treasure chests hidden around the island.
In explicating these aforementioned artworks, which explore ideas of
remembrance using tidal spaces, this chapter will also acknowledge the
forgetting that is implicit in performing these actions. What can the legacy of
commemorations traced in such a transient and precarious space as a tidal
zone be? This chapter argues that while shorelines provide sites for large- and
small-scale acts of public remembering, they are simultaneously acts of
forgetting as the twice daily tides cause inevitable erasure.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMoving Spaces and Places: Interdisciplinary Essays on Transformative Movements through Space, Place, and Time
PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited
Publication statusPublished or Performed - 9 Aug 2022

Publication series

Name Emerald Interdisciplinary Connexions
PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited