ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Experiments in Theatre and Public Culture

Between Truth and Reconciliation

Drawing on the discourse of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa, this essay reflects on some experiments in truth and conflict resolution on the borders of theatre and public culture. By calling attention to the interstitial space between truth and reconciliation, it posits new points of departure in reflecting on the tensions of 'factual truth' and 'personal or narrative truth'; memory and evidence; victimhood and resistance; silence and articulation. Working through the non-verbal and gestural dimensions of different performances and testimonials relating to violence, the essay affirms the need for new languages in dealing with the historical traumas of the past. Questioning the validity of commemorating the pain of entire communities through memorial museums, it recontextualises the possibilities of reconciliation beyond the limited time-frame of Truth Commissions into a more dialogic confrontation of the unease underlying any struggle for 'transitional justice'.

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