The impacts of protracted displacement can be understood through the spatial and material afterlives of war. This article examines leftover aid rations, archives, former displacement camp sites and even unmarked graves as evidence to better understand what happens when people try to return “to normal” after decades of war between the government and Lord’s Resistance Army in Northern Uganda. It asks what narrative and material erasure implies for survivors who seek to create memorials to reflect on the war and have come to find the past destroyed. Understanding how forgetting occurs, whether intentional or not, illuminates the difficulty of using archival material or artefacts as tools for remembrance projects.

The article undertakes an examination of the everyday experiences of displacement and traces of aid assistance to show how memorial efforts can better make sense the past in the present