Marc-Jan Trapman's
Ethiopian Home Page

On Collective Trauma

In Ethiopia I have worked in '96, to set up the TPO/AAU project for Ertitrean refugees in Addis Ababa, and after that, in '97 to initiate a group of intervention activities referred to as 'The Collective Trauma Project'. On this site I currently publish an intermediate report on this project, written in September '97. Due to the work for the Cambodian project, the final texts in this project will not be written until later.

Under Collective Trauma I refer not to an individual trauma that is shared by many people after a traumatic event as in, for instance, a plane crash, but rather to the traumatic effect that an incident may have on a complete population. Often referred to incidents like for instance the death of President Kennedy or Princess Diana share typically as a consequence a conglomerate of experiences and legends that are experienced by many people as a part of their personal, rather than of a collective history.

In these pages, like in the work on Croatia and Bosnia, as well as in the work in Cambodia, I elaborate on Collective Trauma as a result of Armed Conflict.
Before, during and after armed conflict on a large scale, being it civil war or war between countries, incidents, cruelties and rescue efforts result in an often intangible network of rumors and impressions on the populations on all sides of the conflict. These find their way not only in collectivised stories and legends, but also, from there, in the personal memories of individuals, where they mingle with or even suppress the existing memories.
Also, they may influence deeply the self-image and as a consequence the perception of the future: again, not only of individuals, but of complete populations.

Report, september 1997.
Collective Trauma: steps towards intervention projects
Introduction to the comic story project
 Stories project: set-up.
Set-up Actor’s training
 The turtle story, analysis, set-up 1st performance
Introduction to the TPO/AAU project
Conceptual framework.