Historical Trauma And Social Documentary

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Presentation at the Tapestry of Trauma Conference November 2009 Brisbane Convention Centre

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  • Welcome to this presentation. The material provide is offered by way of introduction to current understanding of Historical Trauma and a brief overview of Social Documentary. As I begin this presentation, I wish to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we gather and to pay my respects to Elders, Indigenous and Non-Indigenous whose wisdom and leadership has brought us to this moment.
  • An introduction to understandings of Historical Trauma. Sourced from Abrams, M. S. (1999). Intergenerational transmission of trauma: Recent contributions from the literature of family systems approaches to treatment. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 53 (2), 225-231.
  • Examples of Historical Trauma
  • Reflections on Historical Trauma. Invite participants to reflect and share their earliest memories of Historical Trauma. Feedback when time permits
  • Intro to Social Documentary. Stories and images from contemporary photgraphers
  • Intro to my work with people who have experienced Historical Trauma. Images taken across cultural and social diversity.
  • Focus on Solidarity in the face of trauma as part of social documentary work.
  • The mounting evidence of the impact of Historical Trauma on Women and Children.
  • A study in eyes.
  • Images are not only of people who experience hsitorical trauma but also public spaces that commemorate events.
  • The public acts of Apology and Regret by Political and Religious leaders are recorded as part of the social documentary of HT.
  • Towfiq is a Brisbane artist, writer and actor. He arrived in Australia in 1999 as a refugee. Initially having to flee Iraq to Syria due to his anti-war/anti-Saddam stance, when Syrian government relations with Iraq improved, he was also forced to leave there. With no where to go, he used the last of his savings to board a boat from Indonesia to Australia. The first nine months in his new country were spent in the Curtain Detention Centre before he was granted a temporary protection visa.
  • David Miller Indigenous Elder
  • Civil Protest and Historical Trauma
  • Survivors of Institutional Abuse across Australia are waiting to hear a National Apology on November 16 2009
  • Public rituals of protests, processional movements and candle lighting
  • The place of drama and the arts in social documentary. A Palm Sunday dramatisation in King George square Brisbane reflecting the trauma of war.
  • Socala Documentary and Historical Trauma across religious conflict.
  • Texts and references to follow up
  • Historical Trauma And Social Documentary

    1. 1. Historical Trauma and Social Documentary Tony Robertson
    2. 2. <ul><li>Historical Trauma (HT) </li></ul><ul><li>Cumulative emotional and psychological wounding, over the lifespan and across generations, emanating from massive group trauma experiences </li></ul><ul><li>The collective emotional and psychological injury both over the life span and across generations, resulting from a cataclysmic history of genocide. The effects of historical trauma include: unsettled trauma, depression, high mortality, increase of alcohol abuse, child abuse and domestic violence. </li></ul><ul><li>Subjective experiencing and remembering of war-related events in the mind of an individual or in the life of a community. </li></ul><ul><li>Abrams, M. S. (1999). Intergenerational transmission of trauma: Recent contributions from the literature of family systems approaches to treatment. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 53 (2), 225-231. </li></ul>
    3. 3. Historical Trauma Origins in Native American Study History of Early Rail American Civil War World War 1 Civil Unrest / Refugees Natural Disasters Australia Indigenous History (Stolen Generation) Conscription Great Depression Institutional Abuse Cyclone Tracey Bushfires
    4. 4. <ul><li>Horrible events damage people, families and communities. Trauma creates distance, distrust and disconnection between people. </li></ul><ul><li>Healing is about reconnection, reconstruction and finding meaning. Healing must repair connections with others, self image, values and beliefs. </li></ul><ul><li>Healing comes in many forms. Individual counseling or therapy, spiritual help, and group or whole community gatherings are all important aspects of the healing process. </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.historicaltrauma.com/ </li></ul>
    5. 5. Mervyn Bishop was born in Brewarrina, New South Wales, in 1945. Bishop's position as photographer for the Department of Aboriginal Affairs placed him in a unique position to document Aboriginal life and political activism Australia-wide. He was present in 1975 when Prime Minister Gough Whitlam handed back, with a symbolic pouring of sand into Vincent Lingiari's hand, the 2,500 sq km Wave Hill lease. Lingiari accepted it on behalf of the Gurindji
    6. 6. Marco Vernaschi <ul><li>Marco Vernaschi </li></ul><ul><li>He hopes to return to west Africa to bring attention to the lack of basic health care, the high maternal mortality rates and the detrimental effects of counterfeit medications. </li></ul><ul><li>His work with the Pulitzer Center documents the effects of cocaine trafficking in West Africa, showing how criminal networks led by Hezbollah and Al Qaeda destroyed a whole country in just a few years. </li></ul><ul><li>During this coverage, Marco spent a considerable amount of time with an African organization of drug traffickers affiliated with Islamist terrorists, documenting their criminal activities, the assassination of the president of Guinea-Bissau and the devastating social effects on local people, including crack addiction and prostitution. </li></ul>
    7. 8. Christopher Anderson <ul><li>Anderson plans to focus on a project titled &quot;The Bolivarian Revolution – Venezuela and Bolivia at a Crossroads.&quot; His grant proposal says that he will focus on the new socialist revolution in Latin America – a change fueled by oil, leftist nationalism, authoritarian populism and indigenous identity, yet ignored by Western media. But rather than highlighting the concrete manifestation of events, Anderson will strive to convey the humanity behind this loaded word, Revolution, and to brush an emotional portrait of a time and place, Getty Images said. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Oil and politics make Latin America relevant today, but I am shocked to discover that there is no interest or financial support from the magazines to cover these subjects,&quot; Anderson wrote. &quot;I argue that Latin America does matter, and that this is a particularly interesting time to invest in documenting life there. My hope is that this grant will make that possible.&quot; </li></ul>
    8. 24. &quot;Not Even Past&quot; highlights references to nineteenth-century U.S. slavery and anti-Black racism in literary and photographic projects begun during the late 1920s and early 1930s, including novels by William Faulkner and Nella Larsen, and portraits by Carl Van Vechten. These texts share a representational crisis, in which distinctions between present, quotidian racism and a massive, fully racialized historical trauma disappear. All identify persistent historical traumatization with intense subjective states (including madness, religious ecstasy, narcissism, and fetishistic enjoyment), and each explores the conservative, even coercive social character of such links between psyche and history. When the past of enslavement is 'not even past', narration freezes, black and white women lose their capacity to question or resist social and domestic violence, and racial politics fail. Anticipating contemporary trauma studies by decades, these disparate modernists' works parallel psychoanalytic thinkers of the same era and offer important resources for psychoanalytic approaches to racial difference today .
    9. 25. This training explores historical trauma, family dynamics, relationships, roles parenting, conflict management, and the development of trust and respect in the family.  This tree day program is based upon the traditional teachings of the Elders from many different Native American communities.  One of the primary themes for this program is teaching parents how to use Family Talking Circles and how to create a vision for a healthy family.  The curriculum is designed for 16 weekly sessions. Click here for more information.
    10. 26. Web Resources <ul><li>Historical Trauma </li></ul><ul><li>Wikipedia Entry </li></ul><ul><li>The New Historical Trauma Studies Digging Through Our Past for Insights Into Today Mark S. Micale, PhD </li></ul><ul><li>Link to history of International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies </li></ul><ul><li>The Sanctuary Model To teach individuals and organizations the necessary skills for creating and sustaining nonviolent lives and nonviolent systems To keep believing in the possibilities of peace. </li></ul><ul><li>Historical Trauma: Healing Approaches in Native American Communitie s [Conference Video] </li></ul><ul><li>Photography and Social Documentary </li></ul>
    11. 27. <ul><li>Judith Lewis Herman,  Trauma and Recovery , Chapter 1 </li></ul><ul><li>Deborah Horvitz,  Literary Trauma , Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Freud, &quot;Remembering, Repeating, and Working Through&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Laplanche and Pontalis,  The Language of Psychoanalysis , selections </li></ul><ul><li>Victoria Burrows,  Whiteness and Trauma , Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Cathy Caruth, &quot;Violence and Time: Traumatic Survivals&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Elissa Marder, &quot;Trauma and Literary Studies&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Kirby Farrell,  Post-Traumatic Culture , Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Dominick LaCapra,  Writing History, Writing Trauma , Chapter 3 </li></ul><ul><li>Dori Laub, M.D.,  Testimonies , Chapter 2 </li></ul><ul><li>Saul Friedlander, Memory, History and the Extermination of the Jews of Europe, Chapter VII </li></ul>
    12. 28. <ul><li>Still I Rise </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Out of the huts of history's shame I rise Up from a past that's rooted in pain I rise I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise&quot; Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise.“ </li></ul><ul><li>Maya Angelou </li></ul>
    13. 29. <ul><li>Tony Robertson </li></ul><ul><li>Po Box 3525 </li></ul><ul><li>South Brisbane Qld 4101 </li></ul><ul><li>M: 0417792509 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Tony’s Photography Blog : http://cultureboyimages.blogspot.com/ </li></ul>

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