City of Epitaphs 


  • Megan Hicks Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia



Cities, pavement, memorials, public art, shrines, graffiti, Sydney


The pavement lies like a ledger-stone on a tomb. Buried underneath are the remains of fertile landscapes and the life they once supported. Inscribed on its upper side are epitaphic writings. Whatever their ostensible purpose, memorial plaques and public artworks embedded in the pavement are ultimately expressions of civic bereavement and guilt. The pavement’s role as both witness and accomplice to fatality is confirmed by private individuals who publicize their grief with death notices graffitied on the asphalt. To walk the city is to engage in a dialogue about death.


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How to Cite

Hicks, M. (2009) “City of Epitaphs ”, Culture Unbound, 1(2), pp. 453–467. doi: 10.3384/cu.2000.1525.09126453.



Theme: City of Signs/Signs of the City