11 Nerina Weiss The trauma of waiting: understanding the violence of the benevolent welfare state in Norway Bisrat, a refugee from Eritrea, was granted asylum in Norway after a relatively short waiting period of ten months. However, it took another two years before he was settled in a municipality. Asked about how he experienced his time in the reception centre after he was granted asylum, Bisrat answered as follows: It completely changed my behaviour. It is difficult when you have to spend three years of your life waiting for something. It is a very expensive
. The specific aesthetics of ‘aura’, as defined by Walter Benjamin ( 1969 , 220–3), depends on the impression of its being present from a distance. When sonic articulations are echoed from a recording medium, technological temp aura lity arises. From this perspective, the essential concerns in Krapp's Last Tape are the attempt to receive authentic remembrance from technical memory and the techno-trauma caused by the disembodied voice. Although non-human, the tape recorder is the second, and equally important, actor on stage. Therefore, Krapp's Last Tape counts as
them in being able to respond to these things themselves. In Uganda, for example, they now have huge experience with managing Ebola. In my professional lifetime, I have seen the capacity of disaster-prone countries increase enormously. The need, certainly around earthquakes and trauma responses, for teams from Western Europe to go to disaster-prone countries has clearly gone down and is going down as it should. If we look at the Nepal earthquake, there was very little
This article compares the works of James Baldwin and Jean Améry, a survivor of the Jewish Holocaust. It attempts to unpack the ethical and political implications of their shared conception of the temporality of trauma. The experiences of the victim of anti-Semitism and the victim of anti-Black racism not only parallel one another, but their mutual incapacity to let go of the injustice of the past also generates a unique ethico-political response. The backward glance of the victim, the avowed incapacity to heal, as well as the phantasmatic desire to reverse time all guide this unique response. Instead of seeking forgiveness for the wrong done and declaring that all forms of resentment are illegitimate, Baldwin and Améry show us that channeling the revenge fantasy that so often attends the temporality of trauma is the material precondition of actually ending that trauma. This ultimately suggests that, for both thinkers, anything less than a new, revolutionary humanism equipped with an internationalist political project would betray the victims’ attempt to win back their dignity.
This essay proposes that we turn to James Baldwin’s work to assess the cost of, and think alternatives to, the cultures of traumatization whose proliferation one witnesses in contemporary U.S. academia. Beginning with some recent examples, the essay briefly places these cultures into a genealogy of onto-ethics whose contemporary forms arose with the reconfiguration of diasporic histories in the idioms of psychoanalysis and deconstructive philosophy in 1990s trauma theory. Baldwin speaks to the contemporary moment as he considers the outcome of trauma’s perpetuation in an autobiographical scene from “Notes of a Native Son.” In this scene—which restages Bigger Thomas’s murderous compulsion in Native Son—he warns us against embracing one’s traumatization as a mode of negotiating the world. In foregoing what Sarah Schulman has recently called the “duty of repair,” such traumatized engagement prevents all search for the kind of “commonness” whose early articulation can be found in Aristotle’s query after “the common good” (to koinon agathon). With Baldwin, the present essay suggests the urgency of returning to the question of “the common good”: while mindful of past critiques, which have observed in this concept’s deployment a sleight-of-hand by which hegemonic positions universalize their interests, we should work to actualize the unfinished potential of Aristotle’s idea. Baldwin’s work on diasporic modernity provides an indispensable archive for this effort.
offer psychosocial support ( Rockenbauch, 2016 ; Iacoviello and Charney, 2014 ). Iacoviello and Charney (2014) stress that very few people, especially those impacted by wars and disasters, can survive the psychological stress and trauma. People survive because of social support networks. Indeed, Aldrich (2012) argues that social capital is the core driver of post-disaster recovery; and studies have found that disaster-affected communities are often the first to respond in emergencies ( Su and Mangada, 2017 ; Le Dé et al. , 2013 ; Eadie and Su, 2018 ). These
). Since conflict can overwhelm state capacity for even basic service provision, planned incorporation of mental health into national and community level emergency preparedness, response and recovery systems is vital. Notably, DfID emphasises the need for strategic plans and programmes to promote the well-being of humanitarian staff – both local and international – often at high risk of suffering first-hand and/or secondary trauma. This requirement was conspicuously absent
settings, and access to early childhood development (ECD) services becomes more challenging where family and social networks have been weakened and social service delivery interrupted. Despite being vulnerable, young children are also tremendously adaptable and resilient. Appropriate support for children’s physical, mental and socio-emotional needs can mitigate the destabilising effects of trauma and allow them not only to survive but also thrive, even in the most hostile circumstances. However, to address the needs of young children, we must strengthen humanitarian
. Secondly (and equally importantly), while HEAT trainings ostensibly set out to mitigate potential trauma, they are themselves the cause of anxiety and trauma among aid workers – trauma that is often itself gendered. One interviewee described her own training as ‘run by a bunch of ex-marines who just loved terrorising the shit out of us’; others (including one of us) experienced nightmares in the lead-up and after their trainings. A further interviewee remarked that trainers
discursive silences. The problem representation articulated by the IKEA partnership with JRF focuses on the insecure livelihoods experienced by Syrian women refugees and Jordanian women, while RefuSHE emphasises vulnerabilities and trauma arising from experiences of forced displacement and conflict. As solutions, the former integrates women in IKEA’s supply chain, while the latter combines education, healing and artisanal work. We conclude that despite differences, both problem