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The London Bombings: Mobile Witnessing, Mortal Bodies and Globital Time

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-31
Number of pages34
JournalMemory Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

King's Authors


Most cultural theorists argue that time in the digital and globalized media era is accelerating, with the future and past collapsed into an extended present. This would seem to be the case with the 2005 London bombings: mobile witnessing through the use of mobile camera phones provided co-present personal communicative memory of the events by survivors and witnesses. This was rapidly transformed by mainstream media organizations into mediated witnessing which within days was being reassembled as part of a process of commemoration through online memorials. More than five years on from the terrorist attacks, however, there is an unevenness in the trajectories of mobile witnessing over time in what may be termed the ‘globital memory field’. As well as compression and speed, ‘globital time’ is folded to intersect with ‘slow’ and ‘long’ time that is very much part of each citizen’s lifeworld and subsequently is an important dimension within any process of commemoration, conflict resolution and justice.

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