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Constructing Memory from Within
Shock waves from a tragic event in Montréal history shape the landscape of remembrance.
By Heather Hammatt, ASLA

On December 6, 1989, 14 women (13 students and one university employee) were killed by gunman Marc Lepine, who went on an antifeminist rampage after failing to be admitted to the Ecole Polytechnique, the Université de Montréal's engineering school, in an incident that has come to be known as the Montréal Massacre. When the city of Montréal commissioned artist Rose-Marie Goulet to design a memorial commemorating the 10th anniversary of this tragic incident, they chose a design that departs from the traditions of memorial design, commonly seen in Montréal, using one collective vertical structure to commemorate an event. Instead Goulet makes use of the entire surface of the site to create a contemplative space for reflection and remembrance.

"Everybody remembers the name of a killer. Nobody remembers the names of the victims. I thought it was important to remember their names," says Goulet. With her design, Nef pour quatorze reines (Nave for Fourteen Queens), the names Genevieve Bergeron, Helene Colgan, Nathallie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Barbara Maria Klucznick Widajewicz, Maryse Laganiere, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michele Richard, Annie St-Arneault, and Annie Turcotte are part of the city's collective memory. "The repercussions and the impact of the event are like an unending echo, a shock wave that reaches deep down into all strata of society," writes Goulet in her project statement.

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