Towards Kommos: The Narrative Vessel — A Proposed Construct of Narrative Formation


This paper scaffolds a larger investigation entitled Configuring Kommos: Narrative in event, place, and memory, which explores the tangible formation of narrative generated from the intangibility of a largely undocumented historic event: the Massacre of the Acqui Division on the island of Kefalonia, Greece in 1943. The aim of this project is to investigate a collective construction of narrative around an historic event using temporality and place to create an augmented reality experience, utilizing documentary video, and a chronological catalogue of objects associated with the massacre of 5000 Italian soldiers. We predicate this project using Baurdrillard’s delineation of function, non-function, and meta-function as a means to understand narrative formation around and within existing socio-cultural norms and systems of value. Our paper proposes the hypothesis of the narrative vessel as a means to extend the concept of narrative as a tool to unearth the intersection between the tangibility of objects and the intangible of history, personal and collective memory and truth. To date, preliminary research involves the analysis of artefacts, objects, and the collection of testimonials. The archived artefacts and objects consist of photographs, archival interviews, remnants on the island from WWII, uniforms, metals, and weaponry. Personal testimonies have been collected from survivors, eye-witnesses, and local residents sharing oral histories. To codify our findings this paper proposes the notion of the narrative vessel as a device to address issues of temporality and the binary condition between object and place as a means to observe a syncretic ‘intersection’ of an event-oriented ontology.

Author Information
Law Alsobrook, School of the Arts for Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, Qatar
Diane Derr, School of the Arts for Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, Qatar
Sadia Mir, School of the Arts for Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, Qatar

Paper Information
Conference: KAMC2020
Stream: Digital Humanities

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon