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Performing trauma in post-conflict Northern Ireland: ethics, representation and the witnessing body

Coupe, Alexander. 2017. Performing trauma in post-conflict Northern Ireland: ethics, representation and the witnessing body. Études irlandaises, 42(1), pp. 105-121. ISSN 0183-973X [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article evaluates the role of the body in the performance and reception of trauma testimony in post-conflict Northern Ireland. It explores how the body is exploited in public performances of nationalism and unionism, marginalised in psychoanalytic discourses around memory work, and rendered invisible within state-sponsored reconciliation processes. By contrast, the body is central to representations of truth recovery and remembrance in fictional theatre, and in the performed testimonies of applied theatre. Analysing three recent productions, this paper argues that the strategic use of the body as a site of witness facilitates an ethical form of empathy that respects the alterity of trauma.

Item Type:

Article

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Theatre and Performance (TAP)

Dates:

DateEvent
12 December 2016Accepted
22 June 2017Published

Item ID:

20592

Date Deposited:

23 Jun 2017 14:48

Last Modified:

23 Jun 2017 14:48

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/20592

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