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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Truth Commission and postapartheid literature in South Africa
Author:Graham, ShaneISNI
Year:2003
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Volume:34
Issue:1
Pages:11-30
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:future
offences against human rights
commissions of inquiry
literature
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/research_in_african_literatures/v034/34.1graham.pdf
Abstract:The work of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) has not only failed to restore the 'human and civil dignity' of the victims of apartheid-era violence, but it actually threatens to reproduce the symbolic erasure of the impoverished black and coloured masses. Nevertheless, one effect of the TRC has been the restoration of narrative. Evidence of this claim can be found in the outpouring of postapartheid literature written to help South African society come to terms with a past whose horrors elude all attempts at representation. This paper studies two theatre pieces - a workshop production called 'The story I am about to tell', performed by trauma survivors who testified at the TRC, and an experimental play entitled 'Ubu and the Truth Commission', which combines live acting with puppetry, video and recorded sound effects and music - as well as 'Country of my skull', a memoir of the TRC written by Antjie Krog. All three works explore the radical new possibilities laid open by the TRC's highly ritualized public proceedings, while negotiating with varying degrees of success the paradoxes of agency and representation that have hindered the TRC's attempts to construct a grand narrative of the apartheid years. Bibliogr., notes. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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