An African Dance of Death Cover Image
  • Price 2.00 €

Afrykański taniec śmierci
An African Dance of Death

Author(s): Natalia Stachura
Subject(s): Cultural history, Social Philosophy, Military history, Pre-WW I & WW I (1900 -1919), Philosophy of History
Published by: Instytut Badań Literackich Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: World War I; cultural trauma; foundational trauma; Mendi; apartheid;

Summary/Abstract: Stachura describes the process in which one instance of historical trauma – the sinking of the SS Mendi and the drowning of more than 600 Black recruits – has become the key event for the politics of commemorating World War I in South Africa. Over the course of one hundred years this trauma has evolved from a commemorative ritual of honouring the victims of the disaster into a space where a supratribal consciousness was shaped, subsequently to become a space of conflicted party politics. The theoretical basis for this article are criteria of cultural trauma proposed by Jeffrey C. Alexander and Neil Smelser as well as Dominic LaCapra’s definitions of foundational, structural and historical trauma. Stachura presents both canonical narrations about the trauma of the Mendi and the works of South African performance artists that incorporate this trauma into a complex vision of a traumatic past.

  • Issue Year: 2018
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 115-133
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: Polish