Flood memories – media, narratives and remembrance of wet landscapes in England | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 4, Issue 1-2
  • ISSN: 1757-1936
  • E-ISSN: 1757-1944



Floods are a threat to livelihoods and landscapes in many places around the world and at many points in history. Yet, they also seem to be an intrinsic component of many landscapes and livelihoods. This article explores the interconnection of multi-directional narratives of flooding through the representation of the memories of inhabitants of wet landscapes in past and present England. The article will illustrate three aspects of the relationship between floods and memory: first, the contextual mediation of flood memories in the contemporary moment. Here audio-visual and textual media (photographs, newspapers articles, television news broadcasts) of present and past flooding compete for our attention; second, the documentation of the early modern English treatment of a changing ‘wateryscape’ and whether we can discern dis/continua with and in contemporary media; and third, the dis/connecting narratives of living with floods in the present day. We emphasize that remembering and forgetting floods is an active and creative process for both flooding communities and those who research them. Stories and experiences of past floods are strategically used within, between and across communities to construct a particular sense of self and a statement on vulnerability and resilience to floods. Thereby the article contributes to developing a creative engagement between past and present, which goes beyond encompassing hegemonic narratives of historical and environmental change by reinforcing the potential of researching everyday, experiential landscapes beyond arbitrary periodization.


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