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Remembering Collective Violence: Broadening the Notion of Traumatic Memory in Post-Conflict Rehabilitation.

Remembering Collective Violence: Broadening the Notion of Traumatic Memory in Post-Conflict Rehabilitation.
Author Information (click to view)

Kevers R, Rober P, Derluyn I, De Haene L,


Kevers R, Rober P, Derluyn I, De Haene L, (click to view)

Kevers R, Rober P, Derluyn I, De Haene L,

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Culture, medicine and psychiatry 2016 3 28()

Abstract

In the aftermath of war and armed conflict, individuals and communities face the challenge of dealing with recollections of violence and atrocity. This article aims to contribute to a better understanding of processes of remembering and forgetting histories of violence in post-conflict communities and to reflect on related implications for trauma rehabilitation in post-conflict settings. Starting from the observation that memory operates at the core of PTSD symptomatology, we more closely explore how this notion of traumatic memory is conceptualized within PTSD-centered research and interventions. Subsequently, we aim to broaden this understanding of traumatic memory and post-trauma care by connecting to findings from social memory studies and transcultural trauma research. Drawing on an analysis of scholarly literature, this analysis develops into a perspective on memory that moves beyond a symptomatic framing toward an understanding of memory that emphasizes its relational, political, moral, and cultural nature. Post-conflict memory is presented as inextricably embedded in communal relations, involving ongoing trade-offs between individual and collective responses to trauma and a complex negotiation of speech and silence. In a concluding discussion, we develop implications of this broadened understanding for post-conflict trauma-focused rehabilitation.

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