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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Journeys from the horizons of history: text, trial and tales in the construction of narratives of pain
Authors:Lalu, PremeshISNI
Harris, Brent
Periodical:Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:offences against human rights
commissions of inquiry
oral history
Abstract:In its quest to uncover the truth about gross human rights violations, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in South Africa has brought the discussion on facts, truth, memory, evidence and the production of history into the public domain in an unprecedented manner. History, it seems, is being made, written, spoken and used to build a new nation. The question that needs to be asked, however, is: who speaks for South African pasts? Based on Hans Robert Jauss's concept of 'horizon' (1982), this article addresses the question of what are the distances between public encounters with the past on the one hand, and on the other the testimonies heard by the commission or readings of trauma offered by social scientists and historians. A tentative response to this question is offered by reflecting on various readings of the trial of Andrew Zondo, who was sentenced to death five times for planting a bomb at a shopping centre in Natal in December 1985, and the public testimony of his mother, Lephina Zondo, at the TRC. Bibliogr., notes