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Discourses of Truth, Trauma and Reconciliation in Post-conflict Societies: psychologising the nation

Thursday 31 October, 1.15-2.30pm
D302, Clement House

Countries coming out of conflict as diverse as South Africa, Sierra Leone and Panama have turned to truth commissions as ways of attempting to address a violent past.

In Discourses of Truth, Trauma and Reconciliation in Post-conflict Societies: psychologising the nation, Brandon Hamber will assess the impact of the nation-building discourse of truth commissions and tease out the gap between individual and national processes of dealing with the past. He will argue that the act of 'psychologising the nation' reinforces linear and simplistic views of trauma and can result in a failure to fully appreciate the long-term and complex task of dealing with the past. The presentation will draw on his experiences in South Africa and Northern Ireland.

Brandon Hamber was born in South Africa and trained there as a clinical psychologist. He is an associate of the think-tank Democratic Dialogue in Belfast. He has co-ordinated the Transition and Reconciliation Unit at the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, South Africa, and was involved in the development of support groups for survivors and families of victims who testified before the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Professor Stan Cohen, LSE, will chair the lecture, which is free and open to all.

Ends

For press information, contact Jessica Winterstein on 020 7955 7060 or email j.winterstein@lse.ac.uk|

22 October 2002

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