Lisa Vetten Mieke van der Voort  
Hilde de Bruijn Archive  
Dr Achille Mbembe
  Zoé Inch

Personal rituals of self-preservation

This session looks at to what extent the individual is complicit in either prolonging or breaking down alienating forces in his or her society. The discussion seeks to bring attention to the effects of trauma in its various forms and contexts. In defining ‘trauma', it would be useful to this discussion to provide the most broad definition of this term; as a condition of disturbance and discomfort in the individual's personal realm and/or which limits their ability to integrate and engage with their social environment. The discussion intends to draw attention to the effects of both extreme physical and emotional stress, and also more prolonged and low level sources of repression which are less easy to define. Very Real Time attempts through this discussion to draw into relief sentiments and mechanisms in social behavior which are by nature difficult to define as they fall into the blind spot of the individual's coping skills and defense strategies. This is especially the case in more aggressive cultures, however the discussion also intends to explore the existence of such mechanisms in other seemingly less violent societies (for example in The Netherlands or the middle class suburbs of the United States). The discussion intends to examine the strategies of responding to violence on personal, social and political levels, and why in many cases the responses only serve to reinforce situations of paranoia, alienation and volatility. The discussion also hopes to draw attention to aspects in the emotional life of the individual which impede growth and access to knowledge, self-determination and self-fulfillment and possible solutions to such blockages. Another objective of this discussion is to question trauma as a hierarchical entity and identify the diverse forms of suffering and stigmas of guilt and blame which so often cause blockages in the resolution of past violations.


discussion runs from 16 February - 2 March 2006.

See google discussion page here.

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