ppw – 3/1/14

Nice complications of the therapeutic capacities of art… from James Thompson’s Performance in Place of War:


The TRC’s noteworthy commitment to the telling and witnessing of the experiences of those marginalized, demonized or oppressed by the discourses and practices of apartheid was based on an assumption that a transition to a better future was possible through telling and healing. The argument here is that there is a need to question whether narrative structure can be guaranteed to heal in all cases, and how issues of social justice can be distorted as well as explored via the utilization of a theological or therapeutic discourse… Such performances of reconciliation may work for some individuals but not others and may also, in some cases, benefit the overarching collective or national project at the expense of the individual. (206)


“If I say, as I think, that forgiveness is mad, and that it remains a madness of the impossible, this is certainly not to exclude or disqualify it, it is even, perhaps, the only thing that arrives, that surprises, like a revolution the ordinary course of history, politics, and law.” (Quoting Derrida, 208)

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