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University Lecturer Featured in Scotland’s Covid Memorial

Dr Roxani Krystalli is a lecturer in the School of International Relations who focuses on feminist peace and conflict studies, as well as on the politics of nature and place. She also specialises in the politics of love and care in the aftermath of loss, concentrating on conflict zones, and is soon to be featured in I Remember, a book created as part of Scotland’s Covid Memorial, contributing the opening essay Living Memory. The essay is shaped by Krystalli’s experience of losing her mother during the pandemic and how COVID-19 impacted that loss.

Scotland’s COVID Memorial also incorporates sculpture trees designed by Alec Finlay and a memorial walk, both in Pollok Country Park, an audiobook compiled from public testimonies, read by Robert Carlyle, and photograph collections reflecting Scots’ experiences, including those by Hannah Laycock and George Logan.

Krystalli told The Saint, “I am interested in how people remember and commemorate mass loss and grief, especially when that memorialisation is contested and the loss is ongoing. Scotland’s COVID memorial is an attempt to acknowledge and honour the loved ones, life experiences, sense of health, and other losses people have been suffering during the pandemic.” 

Roxani fundamentally questions the idea of a “post-pandemic” world, arguing that many in society have not moved on and continue to experience the effects of COVID-19. She also argues that the desire to get back to ‘normal’ can be exclusionary. She continued, “My hope is that it is possible to memorialise experiences that are still ongoing without forcing closure and that these memorial attempts will facilitate a broader public conversation on grief.”

Krystalli has received several awards for her research and teaching, including the Early Career Excellence in Teaching International Studies prize from the British International Studies Association in 2023 and the Golden Dandelion award "in recognition of considerable contribution to education for sustainable development” for her class on the Politics of Nature and Place. Her first book, Good Victims: The Political as a Feminist Question will be published by Oxford University Press in May 2024.

Illustration by Sarah Knight

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