Redemptio memoriae

Every man has two deaths:
when he is buried in the ground,
and the last time someone says his name.

Ernest Hemingway (attrib.)

On 25 February 2024, an anarchist protester self-immolated outside the Embassy of Israel to the United States at 3514 Continental Drive, North Cleveland Park, Washington, D.C., to protest the Zionist colonisation and genocide in Palestine. The protester self-identified, and was identified by media, as Aaron James Bushnell (he/him), a United States Air Force cyberdefence operations specialist with the grade of senior airman. Bushnell died in hospital from burn injuries 7 hours after the act.

On the basis of certain unusual features of Bushnell’s martyrdom, community members including Isabelle Moreton (IM) of SP Press began an inquiry. What we found, and our attempts to document and preserve Lilly Bushnell’s legacy, is catalogued below.

Project timeline

Entries are listed in reverse chronological order.

On 22 March 2024, IM published “Redemptio memoriae,” version 2.

  • On 24 March 2024, this version was republished, with consent, by Immer Autonom, a project of anarcha-feminist collective Judith’s Dagger; IA contributor narcissus described it as a “a project that reflects our concern for militant remembering, de-erasure, and anarchism as a radical form of grief”.

On 13 March 2024, IM published version 1 of “Redemptio memoriae: the destruction(?) and re(?)construction of Lilly Bushnell,” the document from which this collection takes its name.

On 6 March 2024, Assigned Media, a trans specialist news service, published “Aaron or LillyAnarKitty? The complicated identity of Aaron Bushnell,” an interview of IM by Assigned EIC Evan Urquhart, covering a preliminary form of the findings in this collection.

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