Reconstructing Trauma and Meaning
ebook ∣ Life Narratives of Survivors of Political Violence during Apartheid in South Africa
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Repressive regimes, regardless of their nature and geographic location, have a destructive and dehumanizing effect on people's lives. Oppression and political violence shatter victims' identities, their relationships, communities and the meaning of their world as a safe and coherent place. However, while some people suffer traumatising long term effects, others become stronger and more resilient, able to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of tragedy. Reconstructing Trauma and Meaning is an invitation to revisit, bear witness and listen to the stories of suffering and healing of survivors of apartheid repression in South Africa. This work is an exploration of the life trajectories of former victims of gross human rights violations during apartheid and their creative ways of reconstructing meaning after trauma. Their life narratives, shaped by social, political and cultural realities, are a valuable contribution to the collective memory of the nation, as an intrinsic part of the continuous process of reconciliation and transformation in South Africa.