Art and Trauma in Africa, edited by the film scholars and co-directors of the Africa in Motion (AiM) Film Festival, Lizelle Bisschoff and Stefanie Van de Peer, is the first book to look exclusively at art and trauma in African contexts.
It consists of a foreword by South African art and social sciences scholar Jacqueline Maingard, the editors' introduction, and four main sections structured along the genres of music, visual art, literature, and film, each covered in three to four essays. A well-compiled bibliography, discography, filmography, and an index conclude the book.
Foreword and introduction outline recent and older discussions about trauma and representation such as non-representability of subjective experiences and atrocity, the ambiguity of witnessing and remembering, the ambivalence of an observer/art audiences between empathy and voyeurism, and the difficult relationship between “ethics, poetics and politics” (p. 4).
The editors do not offer an actual definition of trauma...