THE BODY AS A SITE OF RESISTANCE AND ENACTMENT OF COLLECTIVE MEMORIES AND TRAUMA: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY IN CHILE by Adriana Espinoza Soto B. ED., University of Santiago Chile, 1983 B.A. Simon Fraser University, 1990 M.A. , University of British Columbia, 2002 A DISSERTATION SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in T H E F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (Counseling Psychology) T H E UNIVERSITY OF. BRITISH COLUMBIA September 2007 © Adriana Espinoza Soto, 2007 ABSTRACT The long-term psychosocial traumatic effects of 17 years of military dictatorship on Chilean society represents an ongoing challenge regarding the reconstruction of democracy, but also the emotional healing of people affected by these psychosocial traumas. However, the embodied collective responses by people affected by political repression and the prevailing impunity represent a new and unexplored field. Using A Liberation Action Research Method and An Embodied Participatory Narrative Method this exploratory study investigates the use of the body as a site of resistance and collective memories by HLTOS, a group of adult children whose parents were executed or detained and "disappeared" by agents of the military dictatorship in Chile. It also focuses on the meaning they make of these practices of resistance and memory through the implementation of a series of creative workshops. Finally, the study explores the therapeutic value of these workshops that involve the use of artistic expressions such as narrative, theater of the oppressed techniques, and collage making. The study identified the symbolic effects of State repression and violence on the participants and their families, which suggests that practices of memory and resistance developed as a social response to confront the destruction of the individual and the social body. Furthermore, the study identifies that the disappearance, killing, and political invisibility experienced by the parents has been internalized by the participants as a form of social invisibility. Consequently, invisibility appears as a direct outcome of these disappearances and killings, the prevailing impunity regarding these issues, the lack of political will of the current government in addressing human rights issues and justice, and the promoting of the social validation of those directly affected. This study begins to address the need to explore the embodied individual and collective meaning of social responses to psychosocial trauma, and the role of impunity in the transmission and retraumatization processes. It also provides relevant information for the development of therapeutic, pedagogical, and psychoeducational material and interventions. Finally, it challenges traditional notions of trauma while at the same time emphazising the need to contextualize trauma as part of social and historical processes. TABLE OF CONTENTS A B S T R A C T " L I S T O F F I G U R E S ix A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S • x D E D I C A T I O N xii C H A P T E R 1: I N T R O D U C T I O N 1 RATIONALE AND GOALS OF THE STUDY 5 OVERVIEW OF THE STUDY 9 C H A P T E R 2: S O C I O H I S T O R I C A L C O N T E X T 13 T H E SOCIOPOLITICAL GENESIS OF TRAUMA 15 T H E USE OF THE BODY AS A FORM OF REPRESSION 17 Torture 17 Disappearances 19 Public Executions and Killings 21 OTHER FORMS OF REPRESSION 22 T H E IDEOLOGY OF THE MILITARY REGIME 24 Impunity 25 T H E SOCIAL EFFECTS OF REPRESSION ON THE POPULATION 26 COLLECTIVE PEOPLE'S RESISTANCE 29 T H E ROLE OF WOMEN IN THE RESISTANCE 30 The Arpilleras 30 T H E USE OF THE BODY AS A FORM OF RESISTANCE AND MEMORY 32 C H A P T E R 3: C O N C E P T U A L I Z A T I O N O F T H E S T U D Y 38 IDEAS DERIVED FROM SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY 38 Social Representation .'. 40 CONCEPTUALIZING COLLECTIVE MEMORIES AS A SOCIAL PRACTICE 43 Social Oblivion •. 44 Memory as Social Identity 47 CONCEPTUALIZATIONS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL TRAUMA 48 War Neurosis : 50 .. Extreme Traumatization 52 Sequential Traumatization : 53 Psychosocial Trauma.. 55 TRANSMISSION OF T R A U M A 56 Transmission of Trauma in Chile 67 Impunity in the Transmission of Trauma 72 Long-term Effects of Psychosocial Trauma 74 Psychosomatic Manifestations of Trauma 75 Transmission of Trauma 76 NOTIONS OF BODY MEMORY AND TRAUMA 80 Body, Perception, and Memory 86 Embodiment 90 NOTIONS OF ART, MEMORY, AND HEALING 92 Artistic Expressions in Chile 96 The Gesher Project 96 C H A P T E R 4: M E T H O D O L O G Y . 98 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK 99 Social Constructionism 100 Critical Social Psychology 101 METHODOLOGICAL APPROACH 103 LIBERATION THEORIES AND PRACTICES 105 Liberation Social Psychology 106 Theatre of the Oppressed 1 0 9 .Participatory Action Research : 110 A LIBERATION ACTION RESEARCH METHOD 1 1 5 ' DIAGRAM OF THE RESEARCH PROCESS 1 2 1 DESCRIPTION OF THE STUDY.. 1 2 2 • The Researcher... I 2 2 A N EMBODIED PARTICIPATORY NARRATIVE METHOD 125 Narrative Inquiry • l 2 $ Embodied Knowledge 126 Body-centered Phenomenology 126 DATA COLLECTION PROCESS .' 1 2 8 Inquiring 129 Initial Interviews and Conversations 129 The Pilot Interviews •• 1 3 0 Invitation Process • 130 Introductory Interview 132 Experiencing 134 Audiotape, Videotape and Transcription 134 The Transcription Process 134 Description of the Co-investigators 135 The Artistic Workshops 135 Workshop Description 136 Session One: Introductory Workshop 137 Session Two:Unveiling Our Memories 138 Session Three: Liberating Our Bodies •. 139 Sessions Four and Five: Memorializing Our Bodies 140 Session Six: Moving Into Action.. 142 T H E ANALYSIS PROCESS 143 Language Issues 146 Individual Validation Meetings 146 Group Validation Meetings 148 Examining • 149 Reflexive Practice - 149 CRITERIA FOR EVALUATING THE RIGOR AND WORTH OF THE STUDY '. 151 Reflexivity • 152 Persuasiveness 153 Coherence 154 Social Verification 155 Pragmatic Usefulness • 156 C H A P T E R 5: O V E R V I E W O F F I N D I N G S 158 T H E FINDINGS 159 Chapter 6: A Window into the Past: The Social Burden of Memory 159 Chapter 7: Weaving our History: The Construction of Personal and Collective Memories 159 Chapter 8: Constructing the Political Self: The Body as a Space of Resistance : 160 Chapter 9: Transforming the Meaning of our Bodies by Externalizing Memory and Resistance 160 Chapter 10: Closing the Circle: Evaluating our Experiences 161 Chapter 11: Some Time After: Validation Process 162 C H A P T E R 6: A W I N D O W I N T O T H E P A S T : T H E S O C I A L B U R D E N O F M E M O R Y . . . . . 163 T H E PILOT INTERVIEWS , 163 Origins and Influence of Memory and Resistance Practices in Their Lives 163 T H E HUNGER STRIKE 165 INTRODUCTORY WORKSHOP 168 Fragmented Personal and Family Memories 169 USES OF MEMORY 171 Memory as Fantasy and Imagination 171 Sociopolitical Memories.. 172 v Memory as Social Responsibility 173 R E S I S T A N C E ; 175 Collective Resistance 175 S U M M A R Y O F A W I N D O W INTO PAST: T H E SOCIAL B U R D E N OF M E M O R Y 177 C H A P T E R 7: W E A V I N G O U R H I S T O R Y : T H E C O N S T R U C T I O N O F P E R S O N A L A N D C O L L E C T I V E M E M O R I E S 180 U N V E I L I N G O U R M E M O R I E S 180 OBJECTS OF M E M O R Y 183 Alexandra 183 Daniela 184 Juan Carlos 186 Vivi 188 P L A C E S OF M E M O R Y 190 Tamara 190 Pablo 192 F A M I L Y M E M O R I E S 194 Lalo 194 Kayito 195 The Right to Remember and to Forget 198 The Quality of Memories : 201 The Role of Memory 203 The Workshops as a Place of Belonging 204 S U M M A R Y OF W E A V I N G O U R HISTORY: T H E C O N S T R U C T I O N OF P E R S O N A L A N D C O L L E C T I V E M E M O R I E S 204 C H A P T E R 8: C O N S T R U C T I N G T H E P O L I T I C A L S E L F : T H E B O D Y A S A S P A C E O F R E S I S T A N C E 2 0 8 LIBERATING O U R BODIES 208 Individual Level 209 Collective Level 211 Political Resistance 211 Physical Resistance 212 Symbolic Resistance 213 S U M M A R Y OF C O N S T R U C T I N G T H E POLITICAL S E L F : T H E B O D Y AS A S P A C E O F R E S I S T A N C E 216 C H A P T E R 9: T R A N S F O R M I N G T H E M E A N I N G O F O U R B O D I E S B Y E X T E R N A L I Z I N G M E M O R Y A N D R E S I S T A N C E - F I R S T P A R T 218 M E M O R I A L I Z I N G O U R BODIES 218 T A M A R A ' S B O D Y C O L L A G E 220 T A M A R A ' S STORY 221 SINISTER FILIATION 221 Interpretation of Tamara's Body Collage 222 JUAN C A R L O S ' B O D Y C O L L A G E 229 JUAN C A R L O S ' S STORY 230 I W A S B O R N IN B E T W E E N C U R F E W S 230 Interpretation of Juan Carlos' Body Collage 232 A L E X A N D R A ' S B O D Y C O L L A G E 239 A L E X A N D R A ' S S T O R Y 240 Interpretation of Alexandra's Body Collage 242 P A B L O ' S B O D Y C O L L A G E 244 P A B L O ' S STORY 245 Interpretation of Pablo's Body Collage 247 VIVI'S B O D Y C O L L A G E 252 VIVI'S S T O R Y 253 Interpretation of Vivi's Body Collage 255 D A V I D ' S B O D Y C O L L A G E 257 D A V I D ' S STORY 258 Interpretation of David's Body Collage 259 D A N I E L A ' S B O D Y C O L L A G E 261 vi DANIELA'S STORY '. 262 Interpretation of Daniela's Body Collage.. 262 BETO'S BODY C O L L A G E • 265 BETO'S STORY 266 Interpretation of Beto's Body Collage ; 269 LALO'S BODY C O L L A G E 272 LALO'S STORY 273 Interpretation of Lalo's Body Collage. 273 KAYITO'S BODY C O L L A G E 276 KAYITO'S STORY 277 Interpretation of Kayito's Body Collag 277 Chapter 9: Transforming the Meaning of our Bodies by Externalizing Memory and Resistance - SECOND PART 281 T H E PROCESS OF CONSTRUCTING MEMORY AND RESISTANCE 281 Characteristics of Memory and Resistance 283 The Embodiment of Memory and Resistance: The Human Collages 284 Objects and Places of Memory 285 The Emotional Process of Constructing Memory and Resistance 286 Memory and Resistance as Identity 288 Art as a Form of Resistance 289 Gendered Forms of Resistance 289 Interpretation of the Body Collages 290 Therapeutic Value of the Experience 293 SUMMARY OF TRANSFORMING THE MEANING OF OUR BODIES BY EXTERNALIZING MEMORY AND RESISTANCE 294 CHAPTER 10: CLOSING THE CIRCLE: EVALUATING OUR EXPERIENCES 297 MOVING INTO ACTION 297 Final Reflections on Memory and Resistance 298 Evaluation of the Workshops 302 Therapeutic Value of the Workshops 303 Recommendations for Therapeutic Interventions 305 Suggestions for the Artistic Material Produced 306 SUMMARY OF CLOSING THE CIRCLE: EVALUATING OUR EXPERIENCES 307 CHAPTER 11: SOME TIME AFTER: VALIDATION PROCESS 309 Individual Validation Meetings 309 Reflections About the Body 310 Reflections About Memory and Resistance 315 Therapeutic Benefits of the Workshops 318 Initial Interpretation of Findings 319 First Group Validation Meetings 321 SUMMARY OF THE FIRST GROUP VALIDATION MEETING 327 Second Group Validation Meeting 328 SUMMARY OF THE SECOND GROUP VALIDATION MEETING 336 CHAPTER 12: DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS 339 T H E CONSTRUCTION OF MEMORY AND RESISTANCE PRACTICES 339 The Role of Memory and Resistance 343 Transmission of Trauma 344 T H E BODY AS MEANING-MAKING ORGANISM 347 The Transmission of Invisibility 350 Belonging to HIJOS 353 T H E THERAPEUTIC V A L U E OF ARTISTIC WORKSHOPS ..355 IMPLICATIONS FOR THEORY 358 IMPLICATIONS FOR RESEARCH 359 IMPLICATIONS FOR CLINICAL PRACTICE 362 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY : 364 CONCLUSIONS 365 EPILOGUE : 367 REFERENCES 369 APPENDICES 385 A P P E N D I X A : L E T T E R O F I N I T I A L C O N T A C T ( S P A N I S H , : 385 APPENDIX B : RESARCH SUMMARY (SPANISH) 387 APPENDIX C: CONSENT FORM (ENGLISH) 392 APPENDIX C: CONSENT FORM (SPANISH) 393 APPENDIX D : INTRODUCTORY INTERVIEW PROTOCOL (ENGLISH) 394 APPENDIX D : INTRODUCTORY INTERVIEW PROTOCOL (SPANISH) 396 APPENDIX E : INFORMED CONSENT (ENGLISH) 398 APPENDIX E : INFORMED CONSENT (SPANISH) 401 APPENDIX F: WORKSHOP PHOTOGRAPHS 405 APPENDIX G : INTERVIEW PROTOCOL (ENGLISH) 411 APPENDIX G : INTERVIEW PROTOCOL (SPANISH) 413 viii LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1 Tamara's Body Collage 220 Figure 2 Juan Carlos' Body Collage 229 Figure 3 Alexandra's Body Collage 239 Figure 4 Pablo's Body Collage 244 Figure 5 Vivi's Body Collage 252 Figure 6 David's Body Collage 257 Figure 7 Daniela's Body Collage 261 Figure 8 Beto's Body Collage 265 Figure 9 Lalo's Body Collage. 272 Figure 10 Kayito's Body Collage 276 ix ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I am extremely thankful to all the people who over the years have mentored me, supported me, and believed in me. In particular, I would like to thank my loving partner, Eliser Pardo, who opened his heart through this process in order to help me with meaningful ideas and comments and by dedicating many hours to do the visual documentation. Many thanks to Jorge Pantoja, my academic companion and research mentor and to Robin Cox my friend and academic soul mate, whose own work constantly inspires my work. I am profoundly indebted to Valeria Moscoso, friend and research assistant, whose dedication and support helped me accomplish this work. Also, my deepest thanks to Peter Hall, my editor, whose commitment and thorough work greatly contributed to completing this thesis. I would like to express my gratitude to my committee members. Your trust in me and in the importance of this work, your encouraging words, unconditional support, and challenging ideas have given me the inspiration and strength to complete this dissertation. I particularly wish to thank and express my appreciation to Dr. Maria Buchanan and Dr. Marv Westwood for their unending support and interest in the subject, which motivated them to travel to Chile in order to learn more about trauma. I also wish to thank Dr. Susan James for her interest in my work, challenging ideas, and her own research work that is an ongoing source of inspiration, and for participating as a committee member. Many thanks to my sisters for their generosity and unconditional help and support. To my friends and colleagues in Chile: Cecilia Rodriguez, Juan Manuel Galvez, and Marcela Delgado. To my participants, whose commitment to this project kept me inspired. Also, many thanks to my clients, from whom I have learned what you never learn in the books. To my loving dogs Dumba, Pablito, and Nube, who kept reminding me that there is always time to play and love. I would also like to thank the School of Psychology of the University Academy of Christian Humanism in Chile for their support in the development of this study, and in particular Dr. Salomon Magendzo for his interest and trust in the project. The research for this thesis was made possible by the financial support received from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the International Development Research Centre of Canada. DEDICATION This work is dedicated to the lives of all the people we lost in the madness of death and pain we experienced throughout 17 years of a brutal dictatorship in Chile. In particular, I dedicate this work to that man whose face I never saw, but whose death taught me the value of life. Thanks for your life. I extend this dedication to all the participants in this thesis: Beto, Pablo, Kayito, Lalo, Alexandra, Daniela, David, Juan Carlos, Tamara, and Vivi. And specially to their parents and relatives: Catalina Gallardo, Rolando Rodriguez, Jose Villagra, Raul Valdez, Eduardo Ziedes, Lucia Vergara, Sergio Pefia, Dario Chavez, Ricardo Troncoso, Alberto Gallardo, Roberto Gallardo, and Monica Pacheco. This work is for you, thank you. Finally, I dedicate this dissertation to all those who continue to give so generously their time, expertise, energy, and love to fight for justice and heal the wounds of human pain. Thank You. CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION During the coup d'etat of September 11, 1973 that ended Chilean President Salvador Allende's government, the military leaders turned Santiago's National Stadium into a gigantic concentration camp. A few months later, after thousands of dissidents had been arrested and tortured, after hundreds had been interrogated and executed, the authorities scrubbed the floors, painted the benches, and reopened the coliseum to the public. Seventeen years later on March 12, 1990, the day after General Augusto Pinochet finally turned over the government to Patricio Aylwin, seventy thousand supporters gathered in the National Stadium to listen to the new democratic president but also to perform an act of exorcism. The following is a brief account of what took place at that ceremony: As the melody died, a group of women in black skirts and white blouses emerged, carrying placards with photos of their desaparecidos. Then one of the women - a wife, a daughter, a mother?- began to dance a cueca, our national dance, dancing all her immense solitude because she was dancing alone a dance meant for a couple. There was a moment of shocked silence followed by the sound of people, slowly, tentatively, starting to clap along with the music, a savage, tender beating of palms that said to the nearby watching mountains that were sharing that sorrow, that we were also dancing with all our missing loves of history, all our dead, and that we were bringing them back somehow from the invisibility to which Pinochet had banished them. And as if answering from beyond time, the Symphony Orchestra of Chile burst out with the chorale from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and the song, adopted by the Chilean resistance in the streets battles, Schiller's Ode to Joy, his prophecy of a day when all men will once again be brothers. I had never seen before - and would never want to see again- seventy thousand people crying together as they laid their heads to rest. And yet, that unspoken and painful task was the one we set ourselves that day: to repeatedly liberate, in the years to come, all the zones, one after the other, that Pinochet had invaded (Dorfman, 2002, p. 13). The symbolic and intrinsic dimensions of this ceremony were fundamental for the individual and collective processes of addressing grief and for the restoration of trust in the State at a time when a profound social change was about to take place. The ceremony addressed the profound desire of all of us affected by the dictatorship to heal the wounds inflicted by the 17 years of Pinochet's military regime. It made evident the symbolic power of the disappeared in 1 the collective consciousness, while identifying the individual and social responsibility of keeping alive the memory of those who disappeared, were killed, tortured, exiled, or repressed by the military. As a Chilean, I have taken on my individual responsibility, yet I still struggle with what my role should be in this process. Designing and conducting this research has been a meaningful way to explore and answer this initial question. The issue of social memory and psychosocial trauma has been a passionate part of my research and clinical work with refugees and survivors of torture, both in Canada and Chile. Part of this passion is related to my strong belief that social memory is an essential piece factor in healing individual and collective psychosocial trauma. Social memories provide a window to the past, they allow us to anchor ourselves to those people, experiences, events, dreams, hopes, and values that were once meaningful but that were transformed or affected by the effects of trauma. From an individual therapeutic perspective we know that we can purposefully bring up painful memories, re-examine them, and give them new meanings in order to incorporate them into the legacy that we want to bring into the future. By doing this we can let go of the painful feelings associated so as to reconstruct our shattered past in significant ways. This process is often not only cognitive or emotional but an embodied experience. However, how do we begin to heal the social fabric of a society that was profoundly wounded? Are reconciliation and truth commissions enough to accomplish this task? What is the role of memory and remembrance in this healing process? With these general questions and ideas in mind I went to Chile in 2003 to be part of the commemoration of the 30 anniversary of the coup d'etat. During most of my visit I was surrounded by memory at every step of the way. I experienced it as something alive, multiform, a polyphony coming from the past, the present, and from different groups of people who had been affected by the dictatorship. I attended concerts, I watched movies and documentaries, and I visited the Museum of Memory Salvador Allende, the 2 memorial in the Cementerio General to remember the disappeared, and Villa Grimaldi, a well-known Chilean secret police torture centre. I breathed and experienced memory everyday, and in that experience I found aspects of my life in Chile that had vanished from my memory. I re-encounter my generation in this multitude of voices. A generation that grew up during the dictatorship, with curfews, living in constant fear, yet full of hope for we thought change was possible, but also a generation that experienced and is still experiencing frustration, hopelessness and, at times, despair - despair because there is still impunity and injustice, and the possibilities for knowing the truth and taking those responsible to justice are drifting further away. A few months before the official commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the coup d'etat, President Ricardo Lagos presented a project called No hay Manana sin Ayer (There Is No Tomorrow Without Yesterday) to deal with the abuses of human rights that took place during the 17 years of military dictatorship. Part of this proposal was to offer reduced prison terms, the commutation of sentences and other forms of immunity to the military involved in the violation of human rights, in exchange for testifying in trials and providing information pertaining to their crimes against humanity (Zalaquett, 2003). The response of those opposed to this proposal was swift and strong. HI JOS (of disappeared and executed parents), an organization composed primarily by sons and daughters of the disappeared, outraged by the injustice of this proposal initiated an indefinite hunger strike to protest this government-sponsored form of impunity. According to its members the work of HLTOS centres on two main areas: to take those responsible to justice, and to use memory and their experiences to teach the new generations about what happened in Chile. I had the opportunity to meet and interview members of this group during the strike. There were two things in particular that impressed me about them. First, I was surprised by a little silver pendant they wear around their necks with the image of their disappeared father or mother. It felt like they are not only keeping their parents' presence alive, 3 but also they use their own bodies as a site of memory and remembrance. I was also profoundly moved by their determination to continue the struggle to denounce different forms of impunity and injustice. As Beto, one of the participants in the hunger strike expressed: What we want and what we are doing to achieve our goals is for our dead, our disappeared, our tortured, our exiled, ours, not only ours as relatives of the disappeared, they are ours as society, as Chile, our work is for the wholeness of our Chile (personal communication, August 23, 2003). This statement profoundly resonated with me at many levels. I realized that in their commitment to fight for justice they were using their bodies as the ultimate site of resistance and struggle. And by doing so they were taking the same role that their mothers and grandmothers had taken during the dictatorship. In many ways they were assuming the role of memory keepers of a generation - of mostly women that are beginning to die - that still do not know what happened to their loved ones. As I reflected on the strike, I became interested in the widespread use of these practices during the dictatorship and how they continue to be performed in democracy. In fact, I remembered my own experiences as a university student in situations where I used my own body to protect fellow students. I also became curious about the healing value and the meaning that members of HIJOS made of these practices, which motivated my interest in working with them. More importantly, I became aware of the power of these actions, particularly when we consider that the President's proposed immunity was eventually dismissed from the general proposal due to mass disapproval. Reflecting on these past experiences and reading the literature I began to think about the overwhelming exposure to information, images, videos, ceremonies, and testimonies that bombarded the Chilean society during the months leading up to the commemoration. What I thought was troublesome about this overexposure was the lack of emotional processing to allow the regular citizen the integration of this traumatic past. Young people, in particular, felt a level 4 of saturation and the subsequent loss of interest in the subject (Madariaga, 2005), while for those directly affected it was a process of re-traurnatization given the impossibility to elaborate the meaning of these memories (Madariaga, 2006). I realized there is a profound contradiction among different sectors of Chilean society, between wanting to forget some painful memories while at the same time feeling the responsibility of remembering so as to transmit the history of what happened to the new generations. As I start this study I embark on a reflection of the effects of State violence on the human experience. I am guided in this reflection by my own experience and a desire to understand the role of memory as a tool for facing the society and the individual tasks of remembrance, mourning, healing, and the confrontation of a violent past with a vision of developing sustainable peace processes towards a hopeful future. These reflections are at the heart of the interest and passion that has inspired this study. Rationale and Goals of the Study Societies emerging from periods of violence or trauma, like those in Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Guatemala, or El Salvador, often harbor competing and conflicting understandings of the past and intense struggles over memory (Lira, 1998). During these transition processes, memory re-appears as a concept that allows conceptualizing and framing the horrors of the past and the lessons to be learned from it (Jelin, 2002). The Chilean case offers an example of the huge contradictions that emerge when trying to establish a process of reparation in the name of social reconciliation, which is based on the absence of true justice and strongly marked by impunity. During the 1989 electoral campaign of the Concertacion, a coalition of left-of-centre political parties that came together to defeat Pinochet in the plebiscite of 1988 emphasized justice and the crimes of the dictatorship as central elements in their political discourse (Moulian, 1998). In 1990, after the election of Christian Democrat Patricio Aylwin as president, 5 the promises of the Concertacion shifted. Before the military government yielded power to Aylwin, the military made a provision that prohibited the Congress from investigating the crimes of the dictatorship or bringing constitutional accusations against its leaders (Moulian, 1998). The new democratic government had to mediate between two positions: the military, whose aim was to ensure a legacy of oblivion in the name of social peace, and those sectors of society affected by the years of repression who demanded not only justice but also a full disclosure of the truth about the atrocities committed by the military. The way President Aylwin faced this political dilemma was to announce that the administration of justice would be done en lamedida de lo possible (to the extent of possible), thus decreeing what would be the official policy of the governments of the Concertacion that still rules the country (Madariga, 2005). Consequently, President Aylwin's government established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate the human rights violations of the Pinochet regime. This investigative commission did not have the power to bring charges, initiate legal proceedings, or impose penalties on those involved. The new democratic government, fearing military reprisals while attempting to hold together an unstable political coalition, promoted a form of reconciliation (or forgetting) instead of justice (Moulian, 1998). This political transition as reconciliation required forgiveness without further examination of the historical past or acknowledgement of wrongdoings and provided little access to justice (Frazier, 1999). At the emotional level, the long-term effects of political violence on the population included a range of feelings such as pain, anguish, fear, loss, grief, displacement, and the destruction of a coherent and meaningful reality (Lira & Castillo, 1991). Political trauma becomes chronic when the factors that cause the trauma remain intact (Martin-Baro, 1996). Clinical psychologists in Chile working with survivors of political violence have identified impunity - the absence of formal justice - as one of the mechanisms that instill insecurity and 6 defenselessness in individuals and deny the possibility of having a hopeful future (Lira, 1997; Madariaga, 2005; Pantoja, 2000; Rojas, 1998). Impunity has also been identified as the main cause of re-traumatization, given that every re-traumatizing episode exacerbates feelings of anger, injustice and impotence, abandonment, and frustration derived from unfulfilled expectations and promises made by the State (Bastias, Mery, Rodriguez, & Soto, 2001; Madariaga, 2006). Furthermore, these unresolved feelings can lead to a state of chronic trauma where the person constantly re-experiences the symptoms with almost the same intensity of the original traumatic event leading to intense feelings and thoughts associated to.the past traumas (Pastrana & Venegas, 2001). Carlos Martin Beristain (2003) argues that one of the first obstacles to achieve national reconciliation is that the direct victims as well as all those affected need to "reconcile themselves with their own experiences" (p.l). This necessarily implies the full knowledge of the truth of what happened and the court trials and punishment of those responsible so that these acts of justice can be socially shared, re-symbolized, and integrated into their lives at a social and individual level. Even though there is an incipient acknowledgement by the government and within academic and therapeutic circles about the chronic nature of trauma and its relation to impunity, very little research has explored the way in which individuals can reconcile themselves with their own experiences in the context of real and perceived impunity. Furthermore, most of the current academic debates on memory, reconciliation, and trauma seem to focus on the political and social strategies to deal with oblivion, and the need to keep memory alive so that we will "never again" repeat the horrors of the past. This situation reflects the ongoing struggles over the past, where there is a sector of society that favors oblivion over memory, arguing that remembering the past divides the country, while others believe that on-going debate about the past promotes 7 the development of social change by constructing a new and more democratic social order for our country (Salazar, 2002; Stern, 2000). In this context, studying the role and uses of memory becomes paramount in order to understand the individual need to reconcile their own history and the connection with their collective responsibility to maintain a historical consciousness and memory of what happened. Likewise, the experiences of those participating in embodied practices of memory and resistance are still not recognized as a source of theoretical, therapeutic, and pedagogical knowledge and praxis. Furthermore, there seems to be a clear need for therapeutic interventions that address these issues in everyday clinical work. The main goal of this exploratory qualitative research was to further enhance knowledge of people's embodied responses to institutionalized violence. In this study I seek to understand the processes by which people developed individual and group responses to denounce and to resist the violence and impunity of the dictatorship that still prevails in the democratic government by transforming their bodies into sites of resistance and memory. In this study I explored the following research questions: (1) How do members of HLTOS use their bodies as a site of resistance and enactment of collective memory? (2) How do these young people understand and make meaning of the value of these embodied practices of resistance and memory? and (3) What is the therapeutic value of exploring these practices through a series of creative workshops? The overarching objectives of this study were the following: (a) to explore the embodied experience of members of HIJOS in practices of memory and resistance; (b) to empower the participants by exploring and validating the personal and collective meaning they made of these practices; (c) to determine the healing value of exploring these practices through a series of innovative expressive workshops; (d) to compare the individual experiences of memory to the 8 public discursive construction of memory; (e) to explore the trans-generational effects of psychosocial trauma in this segment of the population; and (f) to consider the use of memory and resistance in pedagogical and therapeutic practices. Overview of the Study In order to investigate the research questions in a thorough manner, I used a meta-theoretical framework that includes a number of theories that attempt to account for all the complexities and challenges of studying embodied social practices that are both individual and collective, that involve the construction of meaning, and that are historical in nature in the context of piloting an innovative workshop method that involves a variety of artistic expressions. The specificity of this research calls for a theoretical framework that can sustain and acknowledge the interpretive nature of the phenomena: the socially, culturally, and historically situated knowledge that is being constructed by the participants throughout the process, the embodied experiences being studied, the therapeutic effects of embodied interventions, and the research method used. Bearing these characteristics in mind I have conceptualized the overall framework using some aspects of social constructionism, particularly the recognition of the historical character of psychological knowledge (Gergen, 1973), the interpretive nature of human beings (Gadamer, 1991; Ibafiez, 1990), the reflexivity involved in the production of knowledge (Ibafiez, 1994; Potter, 1996) that together with the main premises of social psychology (Garay, Ifiiguez, & Martinez, 2002; Ifiiguez, 2005) are known as critical social psychology. In order to understand the complexity of embodied life experiences I am drawing from narrative inquiry (Cabruja, Ifiiguez, & Vazquez, 2000; Pinnegar & Daynes, 2007; Riessman, 1993), the body-centered phenomenology (Merleau-Ponty, 1968, 2006), and the neurobiology of trauma, (Rothschild, 2000; Scarry, 1985; van der Kolk & McFarlane, 1996). Finally, in order to account for the 9 therapeutic benefits of the research process I am drawing on a variety of therapeutic approaches, (Becker, 2003), (Epston, White, & Murray (1996), Herman, (1992), and Lira & Weinstein, (1990), with a particular emphasis on narrative therapy (Payne, 2002; White & Epston 1990). The methodological approach used is what I have termed A Liberation Action Research Method. This approach draws from the main premises of Pedagogy of the Oppressed, developed by Paulo Freire (1986), la psicologia social de la liberation / liberation psychology (PSL) initiated byJVIartin-Baro (1996) and further developed by Montero (2000) amongst others, participatory action research (Fals-Borda, 1985, 1991), and Theatre of the Oppressed (T.O.) (Boal, 1995). What these four approaches have in common is the promotion of collective processes of knowledge generation through ongoing reflective practices that seek to unearth sources of popular local knowledge that lead to social change through praxis (Fals-Borda, 1985). Therefore the research process becomes a critical dialectical process where the experiences and ideas of both participants and researchers enrich each other's experiences and the understanding of the phenomena being investigated. The exploration of these practices of embodied resistance and memory and the meaning derived from them was provided through the implementation of a series of workshops that use artistic expressions such as writing, techniques of Theatre of the Oppressed, photography, and collage. For the data analysis, I developed An Embodied Participatory Narrative Method that draws from the main premises of narrative inquiry (Arvay, 1998, 2003; McAdams, 1993; McLeod, 1997; Polkinghorne, 1988; Riessman, 1993), body-centered phenomenology (Merleau-Ponty, 1968, 2006), and participatory action research (Cresswell 2002; Fals-Borda, 1985; Rahman, 1985). This text is as a partial, limited, and imperfect representation of the rich and life-affirming stories of the participants that came to life and acquired new meanings through the 10 social interactions and reflective experiences during the research process. The text is both a tapestry and a symphony of the many voices and experiences I have encountered on this journey. It includes a visual rendering of the artistic memory pieces created by the participants at different stages of the process. It also integrates their voices in individual sections in an attempt to portray the richness of their embodied experiences, each telling a different story of pain and hope that speaks to the heart of those committed to healing the wounds and re-constructing the memory of a shattered society. In doing so I am aware that this is only a small piece of the work that needs to be done. However, I am also aware that as Piper (2002) explains "we are the subjectivities that we produce; therefore we have the power of transforming them through the articulation of different praxis" (p. 30). Finally, I offer a situated interpretation of these social practices of memory and resistance in the hope that those affected by psychosocial trauma, including therapist and intellectuals, can benefit from this journey. In this study I have established a connection between memory and resistance and its role in promoting individual and collective emotional and physical survival processes. Consequently, I argue that the engagement in embodied practices of memory and resistance elucidates the feeling of invisibility the participants experience resulting from the lack of social validation and the prevailing impunity. In the text I propose a tentative theorizing about the body as a meaning-making organism where individual and collective meanings are created. In addition, I identified a need to move forward in a process of re-constructing memory by taking an active role in de-constructing the structures that sustain a rigid vision of the past by developing interventions that can be both healing and dynamic in helping the participants reconcile with their own experience and place in history. What I offer in this text is what the participants and I have termed "acts of active hope" understood as the emotional, embodied, and lived engagement in acts of purposeful remembrance and reflection through the creation of artistic pieces that seek to open reflective 11 spaces about one's own responsibility in history. Through these acts of active hope we dismantled and re-defined the notions of memory and resistance to be re-constructed again in the body as a wholesome experience that acknowledges past emotions and future memories. In this introductory chapter I have presented a personal account of the context in which I met the participants and became interested in the subject of this research. I have provided a brief historical background of the current social situation where impunity appears as the main cause for the development of these practices of memory and resistance. I have included a rationale for the need to transform discussions about social phenomena like memory and resistance into psychological theories and interventions and pedagogical praxis. Within this context I have described the main goal, the objectives of this study, as well as the guiding questions. I have also explained the theoretical framework that assisted me in understanding and interpreting the research phenomena as well as the methodology developed. Finally, I have provided a glimpse of the results generated through the engagement of the participants and myself in this research process. 12 CHAPTER 2: SOCIOHISTORICAL CONTEXT In this chapter I situate the context of the study by presenting a brief overview of the sociohistorical background that led to the coup d'etat. I then offer a description of the sociogenesis of trauma in the context of the notion of psychological warfare. Within this framework I describe the ideology of the military and the main forms of repression used to control the population. I continue with a characterization of the psychosocial effects of repression on the population, followed by a description of the memory and resistance practices that emerged in this context. I conclude by addressing the need to explore the importance of the embodied memory and resistance practices that developed during the dictatorship through the lens of the participants in these actions. On September 4, 1970, Salvador Allende, the candidate of the Unidad Populal/ Popular Unity (UP) coalition of left-wing parties, was elected president of Chile. This was the first socialist president democratically elected in the country (Gilbert & Lee, 1986). The political platform of the UP included the extension of the agrarian reform initiated by the previous president, Eduardo Frei, the nationalization of the copper industry, and the creation of a socialized sector of the economy (Barrera & Valenzuela, 1986). The government counted on the massive support of the poorer classes, made up mainly of workers, miners, peasants, pobladores (poor, urban dwellers), students, intellectuals, and artists (Gilbert & Lee, 1986). The popular support of his government during the presidential campaign and while in power was represented by demonstrations of more than a million people. However, the three years of Allende's presidency were conflictive and ended in the polarization of the civilian society. In recent years the influence and support of the United States in the process of destabilization of Allende's government has been amply reported (Ensalaco, 2000). According to the U.S. Senate inquiry into U.S. involvement in Chilean affairs, the United States attempted first to block the 13 confirmation of Allende's election and then to destabilize his government and ultimately to remove him by force (Ensalaco, 2000). On September 11, 1973, the military coup d'etat led by Augusto Pinochet initiated a process that completely transformed Chile's social fabric and its institutional structures. The political repression that followed included mass detention of political opponents, summary execution, torture, disappearances, illegal searches of homes, factories, schools, hospitals and public buildings, the dismantling of political and social organizations, and mass exile. The systematic violation of human rights, the persecution of opposition leaders, and the institutionalized violence against citizens created an atmosphere of political threat and chronic fear (Gilbert & Lee, 1986; Lira, 1991, 1992, 1997). Those who supported the socialist government of Salvador Allende were persecuted, imprisoned, tortured, killed, or sent into exile, and included political leaders, priests, nuns, trade union leaders, members of leftist parties, human rights activists, community leaders, students, intellectuals, and common citizens. The profound social, political, and cultural change experienced in Chile represents a brutal form of changing by force of an ideology - the socialist ideology - embodied in the government of Salvador Allende, and the installation of an opposing ideology, which represented the economic interests not only of the Chilean dominant classes, but also of foreign economic and political interests through the implementation of the neoliberal economic model (Brinkmann, 2006; Madariaga, 2002; Moulian, 1998; Salazar, 2002). The repression that followed is expressed in the statement of Augusto Pinochet at the time: "We are going to apply Martial Law to everybody found with weapons or explosives! They will be shot immediately, without trials" (Augusto Pinochet cited in Verdugo, 1998). 14 The Sociopolitical Genesis of Trauma In order to understand the genesis of the political repression exercised by the State after the coup d'etat and its effects on the population, it becomes necessary to review some of the relevant literature. Herman (1997) defines psychological trauma as "an affliction of the powerless. Traumatic events overwhelm the ordinary systems of care that give people a sense of control, connection and meaning" (p. 33). In the context of psychosocial trauma the field of political psychology provides some important concepts to understand this particular type of aggression against the civilian population. Chilean psychologist Elizabeth Lira (1992) uses the notion of "psychological warfare" to conceptualize the problem. The origins of this concept can be found in the military disciplines. There are two main elements associated with this concept: (a) morality as a concept to be considered in both the supporters and the adversaries, and (b) political propaganda as a strategic factor for multiplying violence (1992). These two factors became essential in manipulating and controlling the population through moral demands such as loyalty and misinformation. Therefore, war is no longer an armed conflict since it begins to incorporate elements drawn from the field of psychology as well as other political, social, and economical factors. Omang (cited in Lira, 1992) states that a concrete application of the research studies conducted in the field of military disciplines can be found in the CIA Psychological Operation Manual in Nicaragua. Psychological warfare is defined in that manual as a "type of military operation developed after the Second World War to control large groups of people and or territories, without using other conventional forms of warfare" (Lira, 1992, p. 14). In these types of operations, human beings are considered as a military objective, but the mind of the individual, in particular, becomes a target. Therefore when control of the mind has been reached the enemy has been destroyed. The procedures used in psychological warfare include using and 15 manipulating people's anxieties and fears by dehumanizing and humiliating people thus transforming danger and life threat in a permanent situation that extends over time and whose end is unpredictable (Lira, & Castillo, 1991). In psychological warfare there are three basic principles: (a) the supporters of these actions must receive social material and moral compensations permanently so as to have their continued support; (b) the military must reinforce and accelerate indirect actions through secret agents, rumors, and movements that feed people's fears and anxieties, and (c) confuse the public opinion with waves of false and true news (Lira, 1992, pp. 138-139). Lira (1992) argues that in the case of Chile, psychological warfare was used against the population throughout the 17 years of the dictatorship. Initially the State repression was directed towards those who supported the government of Salvador Allende and later against those who opposed the military dictatorship. The objectives were: (a) to intimidate its opponents by creating fear; (b) the paralysis of people by dismembering social and political organizations, thus stopping people from organizing themselves; and (c) the control of a large number of people (Brinkman, 2006; Lira, 1992; Riquelme, 1994). The main methods used were: forced disappearance of people, the systematic and widespread use of torture, forced exile, or displacement of social and political groups, and the use, control, and manipulation of the media to implement this psychological warfare (Brinkman, 2006; Lira 1992). In this context fear was the main psychological instrument used against the population. This was a scientific process planned and executed with the intention of impacting the social and political behavior of the population and the subsequent effects on everyday life (Lira, 1992; Rojas, 1998). Likewise, Rojas (1998) argues that crimes against humanity are expressly conceived and planned; they are visible, major aggressions, executed to be transmitted as a symbol from the individual body to the social body with the aim of terrorizing, paralyzing, and subduing through fear. 16 The Use of the Body as a Form of Repression Consistent with the notion of psychological warfare, we observe that since 1973 the body became the target of a symbolic fear- producing system. The military government carried out a number of actions, whose object was the destruction or damage of the body. According to the Rettig Report (1993) issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission there were: 15,405 political assassinations, which include shootings, stabbings and even exploding people with dynamite; 15,000 detentions which involved political prisoners kept in illegal facilities; countless exiles; 1,185 disappeared (although the Organization of American States has estimated 5,000 cases). There were also countless politically motivated rapes committed in the context of torture or as a part of a standard detention procedure (Agger & Jensen, 1994). In addition, even more heinous crimes were perpetrated as punishments. For example, two teenagers were burned alive by troops in Santiago in 1986 during a protest rally, and three prominent opponents of the regime were found with their throats cut in 1985 (Martinez, 1993). Torture Within the context of exercising control by terrifying the population, torture is without a doubt a particular form of communication and social control. A preliminary form of analysis identifies torture as a form of punishment meant to obtain information about the enemy through sophisticated methods of inflicting excruciating pain to the body of the prisoner. However, a secondary and perhaps even more powerful message is conveyed to those opposing the regime: "DO NOT mess with authority as your body will be terribly punished or made to disappear " (Martinez, 1993, p. 125). The body of the prisoner becomes a symbol of terror and a sort of catalyst that transmits the fear to the social body of the rest of the community. The exact number of people who were tortured during the dictatorship is almost impossible to estimate because at the time people did not report torture, many people left the 17 country, and others died some time after they were released as a consequence of torture, but their deaths were registered as natural death. Human rights organizations working with victims of torture during the dictatorship estimate that there were more than 400,000 victims (Madariaga, 2001). A recent study (2005) conducted with urban dwellers of 12 out of the 113 shantytowns of Santiago found that 98,904 people experienced a form of torture during the dictatorship (Moya, Videla & Valladares, 2005). Finally the Valech Report issued by the National Commission on Political Prison and Torture in 2004 established that 27,255 out of 35,865 people who testified were tortured by agents of the State. One of the issues encountered in quantifying the extent of torture relates to the definitions used. The Valech Report considered for their characterization of torture only those people who were tortured in detention centers, excluding a large segment of the population who were tortured in their homes (usually in rural areas) and in shantytowns and urban communities (Moya, Videla, & Valladares, 2005). Moya, Videla and Valladares (2005) found that collective forms of torture of urban dwellers were common during land and air raid operations against poor shantytowns in Santiago. These actions were characterized by the joint operation of the military by land and the air force. They were conducted at night or in early hours of the morning. They included massive and vicious home searches that included the complete destruction of furniture and personal belongings, and the arrest of all the men over 15 years of age who would be taken to the soccer fields to be beaten up or subjected to fake and real executions in front of their families and the rest of the community who were forced to watch. These practices were commonly used in the shantytowns and poor neighborhoods to search and arrest community and union leaders, political militants, and to intimidate the entire community (Madariaga, 2001; Moya, Videla, & Valladares, 2005). 18 At the individual level torture affects the entire biopsychosocial unity of the person, thus the multiple effects of torture will have an impact on the physical and psychological health of the person, and on the individual capacity to relate, trust, form, and maintain social relationships. At the social level, torture contributed to the development of social behaviors and patterns of domination as a result of the internalization of fear, apathy, and social indifference. These forms of behaviour have influenced the population in the way violence is perceived as an accepted form of conflict resolution in interpersonal and social relations. It has also imposed an individualist focus in social relations that has eroded previous forms of collective socialization (Madariaga, 2001). Disappearances Strongly connected to the practice of torture is the disappearance of people. The expression "disappeared detainees" became common in Chile and outside during the dictatorship. According to the official definition provided by the Rettig Report (1993), "disappeared detainees refers to the situation of those who were arrested by government agents or by persons in their service and about whom the last information is that they were apprehended or that they were seen later in a secret prison" (p. 35). The official response was to deny having arrested them, or to claim that they had been released. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission established that torture was generally used during such detention, and there is a "moral certainty" that it ended in the victim's death and the disposal of the remains to prevent their being discovered (1993, p. 36). In addition, the report identified two forms of disappearances practiced by government officials. The first one which was mostly practiced after September 11, 1973, included the arrest, summary execution or murder of the victim, and the secret burial or dumping of the body, followed by denial or false stories. In these cases the disappearances were primarily a way of 19 hiding or covering up crimes committed, rather than a "centralized coordination aimed at eliminating predetermined categories of people" (p. 36). The second one was carried out primarily during the 1974-1977 period mainly but not exclusively by the Direction de Inteligencia National /National Intelligence Directorate (DINA). This particular form of disappearance was a systematic, politically motivated effort to exterminate particular categories of persons (member of political parties). However, after the report was made public, more than 1,500 new cases were formally denounced to the National Corporation of Reparation (Lira, 1997). Furthermore, after the arrest of Pinochet in London in 1998, the number of disappeared people who were reported by their relatives also increased (Madariaga, 2002). The individual and sociopsychological repercussions of a disappearance include a high level of psychological pain and a profound alteration of the everyday of the affected family, friends, or neighbors. Particularly sinister is the effect on witnesses who saw their son, a friend, a neighbour being kidnapped, realizing later that the government consistently denied that this event ever took place. This non-acknowledgement has the power to produce in the witness a denial of their own perception, which is compounded by the lack of information that can lead to psychotic states or alterations of their sense of reality. In the families directly affected, this situation produced further problems that in many cases ended in separations or the break up of relationships or modifications in the family structure (Kordon & Edelman, 2002). These changes were linked to the different positions taken by family members in relation to the course of action to follow, the terror that permeated the behaviors and that conditioned the assimilation of the alienating discourse of the dictatorship. It was often the case that the internalized levels Of aggression remained in the home debilitating further the family bonds (Kordon & Edelman, 2002; Lira, 1997). 20 Public Executions and Killings The Rettig Report (1993) also established that public executions were another form of destroying the body of opponents and intimidating people. They were conducted in three forms. In some cases there were armed confrontations between the military or the police who were coming to arrest someone and those who were being hunted. In many of these cases the military killed those arrested or wounded. In other cases the military prepared an ambush to kill the political militants they were looking for, and they claimed afterwards that it was a confrontation. There were also other forms of executions such as cutting people's throats and the public kidnapping and shooting into the person's head. The bodies of the people killed in real or fake confrontations were usually returned to their families, while the bodies of those shot on the streets were dumped in empty plots or near a roadside. Many killings happened in the context of the repression exercised during national protest rallies between 1983-1990 (Rettig, 1993). Like in other forms of repression the executions of opponents had similar effects on the families of the victims and the community in general. The families of executed and disappeared prisoners experienced a progressive level of isolation. In many cases they became marginal and marginalized (Moya, Videla, & Valladares, 2005). To have a relative disappeared, killed, or to have suffered torture became dangerous stigmas. Under those circumstances many families became silent; they isolated themselves out of fear and to avoid further repression. This self-imposed isolation was magnified by the discrimination and/or elusiveness of friends, colleagues, and even relatives who feared that becoming closer would have political repercussions for them. This situation not only impacted their social relations but also their economic survival. In most cases men were the victims leaving the wives and children unprotected financially, which led to the loss of economic status and social validation and, in many cases, people experienced hunger and poverty (Brinkmann, 2006). 21 Other Forms of Repression The political exile of a large number of Chileans was another form of repression and traumatization used by the dictatorship. The exact number of Chileans who left the country after the military coup is difficult to determine. The highest estimate made by the Catholic migration organization in Chile, Institute Catolico Chileno de Migration (INCAMI), is that one million people (a tenth of the population at the time) left the country for political or economic reasons since the military coup (Kay, 1987). This form of dislocation was also another way in which the dictatorship attempted to fragment the social body of the supporters of the UP and of those opposing the dictatorship. The psychosocial consequences of exile include: the abrupt rupture of a life project; the loss of social and emotional networks such as family, friends, and co-workers; the loss of a familiar landscape and geography; and the end of people's active participation in the everyday life of their country and therefore the loss of personal history, biography, and sense of identity (Dominguez, 1994). Censorship was another strategy used to silence the population. By February 1974 half of Santiago's journalists were unemployed due to the closing of news media (Ensalaco, 2000). Only four of the original 11 newspapers remained, five radio stations had been bombed or expropriated, and censorship mutilated the few magazines still allowed to publish (Sagaris, 1996). The military government also banned a long list of books, including poems by Chilean Nobel prize winner Pablo Neruda, and ordered the destruction of history texts, poetry, anthologies, novels, and biographies of prominent Chilean religious thinkers (Gilbert & Lee, 1986). To own books or to participate in cultural activities became a life-threatening activity. These attacks attempted to eliminate an entire generation of artists and intellectuals from Chilean society, along with their work, creating a vacuum, which the military government filled with censor-approved, official culture (Sagaris, 1996). 22 Particularly relevant to the context of this study is to provide a brief overview of the Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria (MIR) given that most of the participants are adult children of militants of this political organization. The origins of the MIR are linked to the re-grouping of a number of small, left-wing groups who were in profound disagreement with the Socialist and Communist parties (Neghme & Leiva, 2000). Officially the MIR was born in August 1965. From the beginning their members worked towards the Chilean revolution using the armed straggle, following the Fidel Castro revolution in Cuba. Their vision opposed the traditional Chilean left that they viewed as pacifist, concerned mostly with wining elections, and unwilling to materialize the revolution - the only road to confront the bourgeoisie (Naranjo, 2004). Although the MIR supported Allende's government it did not participate actively in this political project because they considered that Allende had not fully included the popular masses in the government's Socialist project. In contrast, their strategy consisted in developing local groups of "popular power" as an alternative to the Popular Unity government that would eventually lead to the creation of the People's Assembly made out of workers, urban dwellers, students, and peasants. Their vision was to achieve a revolutionary government of workers and peasants (Corvalan, 1996). The MIR was annihilated between 1973-1980, losing most of its leaders while the rest of its members were detained and tortured. Although at first they tried to respond and resist the brutality of the military with a few weapons, they soon realized that they could not fight and began to retreat. Initially the MIR profoundly rejected the idea of exile, however, the loss of so many of its members forced them to leave the country and reorganize in countries like Cuba and Sweden. At the beginning of the 1980s the MIR initiated a reorganization process where they studied the possibility of returning to Chile to fight the dictatorship from within the country. This process was developed in Cuba and it is know as Operation Retorno (Return Operation). This process also included the establishment of 23 resistance bases to promote the rural armed struggle in the South. This reorganization process never materialized and it ended in the death of many of its members and the fragmentation of the party that is currently divided in many small fractions (Perez, 2001). The Ideology of the Military Regime During the first years of the dictatorship, the country experienced a profound ideological transformation. Chilean identity was transformed by the military government's ideological discourse. The legitimacy of the "new order" imposed by the military was based on the doctrine of national security, which presupposes the existence of an internal enemy that must be exterminated or at least demoralized and neutralized. Due to censorship and manipulation of the mass media, and the need of the new regime's supporters to dismiss rumors of atrocities, this discourse went virtually unchallenged in public. As a result the meaning of Patria (Fatherland) was profoundly altered. It no longer referred to a common shared identity rooted in common socialization, education, and political traditions and beliefs. The enemigos de la Patria (enemies of the Fatherland) were defined as leftist subversives and extremists, as non-Chileans and traitors. This characterization of Allende's supporters as enemies established the context of an internal war, thus justifying their extermination, political repression, and human rights violations that ensued (Lira, 1997). Becker and Calderon (1994) have identified the different ways in which the dictatorship became established in people's psyches by turning the external threat into chronic fear. The regime: (a) undertook sufficient repressive activities to convince the entire population that the threat was real; (b) defined the reasons for the repression in sufficiently vague and arbitrary terms so that anyone might see himself as a potential victim of such repression; (c) at certain moments, denied the existence of repression and at other times spectacularly highlighted its existence; (d) always made it clear that the threat was an existential threat, i.e., a threat of physical death and psychological annihilation (p.59). 24 Faundez (1994) asserts that in order for the repression to be effective the public discourse of the dictatorship needed to be ambiguous and contradictory. Therefore, it continuously used dual messages, thereby creating rules that both impose and deny. For instance, the discourse proclaimed itself to be apolitical, yet it exercised political power. In practice, it carried out a war against the people while proclaiming peace, tranquility, and order. It denied the existence of political prisoners or political persecution while at the same time it arrested, kidnapped, tortured, executed, and made people disappear (Faundez, 1994). Impunity Impunity was an essential factor in instilling fear and silence among the population and in demonstrating that the armed forces exercised absolute control. Impunity is defined as the process of repeatedly leaving without punishment those people guilty of a crime that affects individuals or social groups as a way of exercising power and control, thus generating uncertainty and mistrust in the social and political processes (Brinkman, 1999). The process of impunity began with the persecution of the victims that had been previously selected by the State repressive system because they were considered potential political and ideological enemies of the new order. This was followed by the absence of an investigation about the circumstance, causes, or responsibilities attributed to the victims. Therefore they were denied their right to due process, while at the same time there was guaranteed impunity to those State officials responsible for crimes by the omission of justice. From a human rights perspective the violation of these rights by the State transformed impunity into an implicit moral approval of these crimes (Brinkmann, 1999). Unlike what happened in other dictatorships, the Pinochet administration received the consent and support of members of the judiciary, who not only allowed impunity to happen, but also did not protect the fundamental rights of people. What becomes troublesome in 25 the current context is that the same legal structure is still in place including the same judges (Brinkmann, 1999, 2002; Madariaga, 2005, 2006). The Social Effects of Repression on the Population Consistent with the notion of psychological warfare, Chilean psychologists Elizabeth Lira, and Maria Isabel Castillo (1991) studied the subjective and political meaning of life threat and fear in the Chilean society during the military dictatorship. In this context the systematic violation of human rights constituted a permanent life threat that the researchers' conceptualized as a political threat. One of the psychological and political effects was the generalized fear in the population. The results suggest that fear is at the base of the psychosocial trauma in Chile. Although fear is an individual and subjective experience, when it is lived simultaneously by many people it acquires especial significance in the social and political behavior of people (Lira & Castillo, 1991). Within this context everyday life is transformed; people became vulnerable and the economic survival of people is affected. Suddenly people are confronted with the concrete possibility of experiencing pain and suffering, losing loved ones, or dying. In this context the political repression of the State is perceived subjectively as a process of personal annihilation, that also includes the loss of collective ideals and dreams. The processes of transmission are many and effective. In the privacy of private relationships people talk about detentions, torture, and executions, which generate panic, confusion, and a sense of unreality, which subsequently fulfills the objectives of the dictatorship of creating fear in the population. In the public domain the media avoids talking about this reality due to the imposed or self-imposed censorship that results in an increased silence. This fragmentation of the social reality intensifies the efficiency of the repressive State, thus the internalized fear on one hand, and the apparent normality of 26 society on the other, create a horrifying world where reality and fantasy coexist making it difficult for the individual to understand and control their own experiences. Castillo and Lira (1991) identified three stages in the way fear affects individuals: (a) people objectify fear as a threat to their personal integrity; (b) the certainty or high probability that the danger will materialize transforms threat into fear; (c) the perception of the threat as being imminent can transform fear into terror or panic. Panic refers to a spontaneous and disorganized individual and collective reaction resulting from a dangerous event. The difficulty in identifying the content of this life threat, or to discriminate its imminence, is known as anguish, which is also related to waiting. Waiting is related to the impossibility of identifying the exact object of anxiety and the anticipated impotence when confronted with a dangerous situation. This insecurity and fear are generated by the abrupt change of the social surrounding Or because of the fantasy of some anticipated change. Therefore both reality and fantasy can trigger processes of insecurity that can be individually or collectively internalized as a fear of change (1992). In Castillo and Lira's opinion, this life threat can be perceived as (a) the threat of one's own physical death; (b) the fear of suffering some form of physical aggression, being beaten up, or tortured; (c) the loss of the physical conditions to work; (d) the fear of losing the daily economic income and having to accept an insufficient salary to cover basic needs; and/or (e) the threat to live a life according to values, beliefs and purposes that are in opposition with those of the Sate (1991). At the individual level, Castillo and Lira (1991) identified a permanent state of vulnerability and an exacerbated state of alertness, including a sense of impotence or loss of control over their own life, and an alteration of the sense of reality that translates into the impossibility of validating objectively one's own experiences and knowledge. At the collective level, Lira argues that the repressive methods employed were changing over time, however the 27 systematic use of terror managed to create a generalized sense of passivity, silence, and compliance in large sectors of society, which made it possible for people to accept unemployment, exploitation, and the lack of - or insufficient - social programs such as housing, health, and education (Lira, 1992). Unfortunately the effects of terror did not end at the end of the dictatorship. Terror not only affected social relationships, it also became internalized in the psychic structures of society. The general uncertainty experienced for so many years influenced the development of individual and group behaviors, which are translated into either aggressive or violent reactions, or mistrustful, and apathetic responses about the current social and political events of the country. Consequently, Castillo and Lira (1991) and Lira (1992) argue that the long-term effects of fear have modeled inhibitory and self-censored attitudes that generate difficulties in discriminating reality and thus impeding the necessary participation to achieve a democratic society. In this regard Lira (1992) explains that the concept of chronic fear is in itself a contradiction since fear and anguish are both individual responses to internal and external threats. Chronic fear, however, is no longer a specific reaction to a concrete situation, but rather it becomes a permanent reaction in everyday life not only of those directly affected but also to whoever feels a form of threat, which implies that a large part of the society was affected. Consequently Lira (1992) concluded that "during the military regime, fear was used as a psychological instrument with political purposes, scientifically planned to influence the social and political behavior of the population" (p. 151). At the collective level the effects of the internalized chronic fear affecting a large sector of the population were also conceptualized from a psychoanalytic perspective. Lira (1992) suggests that the long and continued political repression introduced an intolerable dimension in the context of social relationships. This concept, called the sinister and developed by Freud 28 (1919), refers to the loss of the boundaries between reality and fantasy. In the Chilean context the torture, disappearances, executions, and assassinations - among other violations of human rights - are an expression of the sinister, the ominous in social relationships given that reality surpasses the limits of the most perverse fantasy ever imagined. The sinister sustained the development of chronic fear by overwhelming psychic apparatus, thus causing the habitual defenses to stop being effective (Lira, 1992). Collective People's Resistance The responses of the people to confront the massive repression of the military regime have recently begun to be explored. The Rettig Report (1993) describes the reactions of the Chilean society during the 1973-1990 dictatorship in the following ways. The document establishes that during the first stage of the dictatorship, from September 11 to December 1973, there was no public critical reaction from society, with the exception of some sectors of the Catholic Church. The absence of a reaction can be the result of the fear, the surprise and the lack of knowledge about the events that were happening. From January 1974 to August 1977, there was an emergent reaction from different social sectors in defense of human rights as people began to learn of the extent of these violations. Social organizations such as the Association of Relatives of the Disappeared Detainees began to form and work in solidarity with the victims. The period from September 1977 to May 1983 was marked by increased and organized participation of the population in the social context. However, large sectors of society still remained indifferent or skeptical about the magnitude of the violation of human rights. The period between May 1983 and March 1990 saw a more determined participation of the social sectors in confronting the dictatorship. Pacific opposition began to take shape as a form of protest and organization. Likewise, some of the political parties began to reorganize, as well as unions, students' associations, and multiparty organizations. This period was characterized by a 29 strong presence of the population on street manifestations such as rallies and demonstrations in opposition to the military regime until the elections in 1989 (Minnoletti, 2002; Rettig, 1993). The Role of Women in the Resistance From the beginning of the dictatorship women from diverse social and political backgrounds began to organize out of desperation at finding themselves powerless to work either inside or outside a system that refused to recognize them as either a political or labour force. Many of them had lost their husbands or children and therefore an important part of their financial support disappeared. Determined to use their very condition as homemakers and mothers as their principal political weapon, they began organizing communal pots or providing free childcare so other women could work. They also risked their lives by hiding people who were being persecuted (Agosin, 1996). Within this social context arose the arpillera, which in English translates to burlap; in Spanish it came to mean the cloth of resistance. The Arpilleras The arpillera, a colorful tapestry made out of burlap, is a traditional Chilean art. During the dictatorship the arpilleras became an expression of individual and collective memory and a form of resistance. The arpilleristas organized themselves first as mothers, sisters, and wives of the disappeared and then as political citizens. As identified by Agosin (1996), the dictatorship forced these women to confront public life and to make their pain and grief visible. They not only created tapestry, but also they initiated street protest. The first arpillera workshops were formed in March of 1974 as part of the handicraft workshops under the sponsorship of the Vicariate of Solidarity of the Catholic Church (Vidal, 2002). These first arpilleras depicted the circumstances in which their loved ones had been arrested, or the absence of that person at home in their everyday life. Others showed their endless search in police headquarters or detentions centres. Yet others, talked about torture, hunger, and despair, while others represented the hope 30 that their loved one would soon come home. One recurring theme was the divided family, a painful metaphor for a divided country (Agosfn, 1996). The arpilleras workshops also acted as a form of psychological grief support group for these women, as well as a source of income to feed their children who were without fathers (Lira, 1997). These arpilleristas invented strategies to challenge the overwhelming fear by depicting political repression. They developed a new form of political resistance by telling the story of a divided Chile in graphic and visible forms, thus becoming a portrait of the daily suffering of poor people and the impact of human rights violations of the military dictatorship. In a sense, they became "embroidered memories" of those years (Agosin, 1996). According to Leydesdorff, Passerini, and Thompson (1996), it is not surprising that gender differences affect the way in which memories are experienced and represented by men or women. They assert that in most societies there are widespread tendencies for men to dominate the public sphere and for women's lives to focus on family and household; therefore, these experiences should be reflected in different qualities of memories. These differences often reflect both the particular areas of power, which women and men hold in everyday life, and the various levels of public discourse. However, memories of subordinate groups can also show striking resilience, and they can be transmitted "as women's memories, from the interstices of society, from the boundaries between the private and the public" (Leydesdorff, Passerini, & Thompson, 1996, p. 8). This analysis is particularly relevant to the case of the arpilleristas. The massive disappearance of men from the public sphere forced women to take on different roles. As mothers, they were the first to react to the arrest of their children and husbands. They used the private safety of their homes to create tapestries of both their own and the country's memories, but also they took to the streets to protest and demand justice. Furthermore, their resistance and 31 political determination challenged the authoritarian power of the military, the oppression and the exploitation, thus setting a precedent for the rest of the society to engage in acts of resistance. The Use of the Body as a Form of Resistance and Memory As the body became an important form of repression in the official discourse of the dictatorship, an important segment of the population began responding by using bodily signs in its own discourse in an attempt to maintain a dialogue with authority (Martinez, 1993). With the help of the Committee for Peace headed by Archbishop Raul Silva Henriquez, an Inter-Church organization formed shortly after the coup to help the victims of the repression and their families. In 1974, the arpilleristas formed the Agrupacion Chilena de Familiares de Detenidos-Desaparecidos (the Chilean Association of Relatives of Disappeared Detained). From the beginning, the objectives of these women were clear and have not changed: they want to know where their family members are. They want the truth about these disappearances to be known (Chuchryk, 1993). Over the years the activities and their objectives have evolved within a political framework. According to Hernan Vidal (2002), the public discourse of this organization has focused on two main metaphors: the human body and the family. In his analysis he shows that they denounce the military action against the family in the following, simple terms: lesionar (to inflict an injury), dolor (pain), sufrir (to suffer), herida profunda fa. deep wound), or la herida permanecera abierta, sangrando para siempre (the wound will remain open, bleeding forever) (cited in Martinez, 1993). The actions of this group included chaining themselves to public buildings, street protests, and the reproduction in their own bodies of their relatives' pain through hunger strikes. In addition, in public appearances and street protests these women pinned pictures of their disappeared to their hearts as a constant reminder of their loss, but also as a way to convey a powerful message to the authorities: that they were not willing to forget their loved ones and to 32 stop searching for them. The most compelling embodiment of the absence of their loved ones is the CUECA sola. The cueca is a traditional couples dance. They adapted this dance to show the women dancing alone as a symbol of the felt absence of the body of their loved ones. The power of this dance as a symbol resides precisely in the unfinished relationship they portray, in the ongoing search, and in the hope that those two bodies will be dancing again. Finally, it denounces the injustice of depriving people of the most basic right to be happy and loved in intimate relationships. On November 11, 1983, Sebastian Acevedo, a fifty year old worker and member of the Chilean Communist Party, sprayed his clothes with gasoline, shouting that his disappeared children should be freed, or at least taken to trial. He then set himself on fire and died eight hours later. He destroyed his own body in an act of despair and love. His martyrdom not only shocked the Chilean public but also forced the authorities to release his daughter and son. According to Renato Martinez (1993), his violent death shows a "form of communication - a most tragic discourse - that uses the body as the ultimate sign of protest and defiance" (p. 86). After his death, a pacifist group that was beginning to organize took his name to honor his life, thus forming El Movimiento contra la Tortura Sebastian Acevedo (The Sebastian Acevedo Movement against Torture). The objectives of this movement were to denounce and to stop the widespread use of torture by the military by using the body as their main symbol of resistance (Vidal, 2002). The non-violence principle proposed by Gandhi inspired their philosophy and their actions, which included standing in front of torture centres shouting, "in this place a man/woman is being tortured now" (Martinez, 1993). Members chained themselves to structures, blocked traffic with their bodies, and engaged in hunger strikes (Vidal, 2002). These initial actions undertaken by small groups soon began to be reproduced by other sectors. It became common for university students to engage in sit-ins in the middle of the streets or in public 33 places as a form of protest. These peaceful demonstrations where people just sat for hours and sang songs became a symbol of the growing "defiance of the population. Human chains were another form of protest and resistance. These spontaneous groups would rush together to form a human chain and block an arrest by the police. Their actions inspired other members of the society who began to demonstrate and to confront the military with their bodies in mass protests until the end of the dictatorship in 1990. However, it was not until 1983, that the streets were fully reclaimed as the natural habitat for the political body. The social mobilization of the masses began at that time. Beginning in May 1983, there were national protests against the military regime almost every month. Occasionally, these protests were accompanied by calls for partial or general strikes and included street demonstrations, public gatherings, marches, and, during the evening hours, pot-banging as well as barricades in the lower-class areas. Hundred of thousands of people participated in these manifestations of opposition of the government. More than one thousand deaths were registered as a result of police and military repression of the protests. According to Barrera and Valenzuela (1986), few governments have faced such generalized and widespread expressions of opposition in Chilean history. In 1988, a plebiscite was held to determine whether Pinochet should be allowed to remain in power as head of the government. He lost the plebiscite, and presidential elections were held at the end of 1989. Pinochet's candidate in this election lost, and Patricio Aylwin, a candidate of the centre spectrum of the Concertacidn, the opposition coalition, won with 54% of the votes (Paez, Asun, & Gonzalez, 1994). His election represented the end of the dictatorship and the long and delicate transition to a democratic state. The end of the dictatorship initially brought hope to those sectors that supported the Concertacidn in the elections. Based on the electoral promises, the supporters expected 34 substantial changes in the sociopolitical context leading to justice and full reparation of the psychosocial trauma inflicted by the dictatorship on the population. However, this has not been the case. The reasons lay in the characteristics that marked the end of the dictatorship and the beginning of the transition process. In strict rigor the dictatorship was not defeated, but rather it ended as a result of an agreement between the right-wing parties that were part of the military regime, and the centre-left parties that made up the Concertacion. In the organization and conformation of the Concertacion, several left-wing parties and political groups - those which most of the victims of the repression belonged to - were excluded, including the Community Party, the MIR, and a sector of the Socialist Party. That is to say, the sectors that remained faithful to the legacy of Salvador Allende and who opposed the economic model imposed by the dictatorship were excluded (Brinkman, 2006: Madariaga, 2002). Within this social, political, and economic framework it becomes easy to understand the fact that the four governments of the Concertacion have not shown the political will to fully investigate the crimes of the dictatorship, to take those responsible to trial, and to provide the victims with effective reparation measures. Consequently, the unfulfilled promises of justice made by the Concertacion to the families of the victims and to society in general have developed into a new form of impunity which is considered one of the most serious social, ethical, legal, and political problems currently facing Chilean society (Brinkmann, 1999, 2002; Madariaga 2005, 2006). In this context the social tension between memory and oblivion emerged at the heart of the current issues faced by Chilean society. This tension is characterized by the insistence of the right-wing parties and the Concertacion to put the past behind and focus on the construction of a new democratic society. This position of dar vuelta la pdgina (turn the page) that promotes oblivion is based on the belief that discussions about the past endanger social peace and national reconciliation. On the other hand, there is an entire sector of society that seeks to keep the 35 memory of those years alive, vindicating a posture of promoting truth and justice in relation to the human rights violations committed during the dictatorship (Fernandez, 2006; Madariaga; 2005). From research in the field of psychology we know that it is virtually impossible to heal the wounds of trauma without the victims telling their stories and without the proper validation and acknowledgement of what happened. Furthermore, psychological theories demonstrate, as Bessel van der Kolk (1994) notes, "the body keeps the score," suggesting that trauma inhabits the physical body of the survivors. Similarly, we can infer that the social body of a country brutalized by fear and repression would keep the score of the collective wounds. This study is located in the intersection between individual and social bodies, between individual and collective meanings, between justice and impunity, and between trauma and hope. The use of the body as a site of resistance and collective memory during the dictatorship and the democratic governments poses a number of interesting challenges for the field of traumatology in relation to collective responses to institutionalized violence, fear, destruction, and impunity. These practices confront our understanding and knowledge of how traumatized people respond to trauma and compel us to further explore people's responses by addressing the following needs: • to understand the connection between emotional and physical resistance to traumatizing experiences, • to understand how people develop individual and collective embodied responses to mass violence, • to understand the complex individual and collective meaning-making systems that are involved in surviving massive traumatic experiences, 36 • to explore the role of collective memory as a potential source of pedagogical and healing practices, and • to explore the use of artistic expressions as a tool for exploring and healing memory and resistance practices. Studying the use of the individual and social body as a site of resistance and collective memory in a group of adult children of the disappeared and politically executed will expand our understanding of collective embodied responses to mass violence. This exploration will allow us to comprehend the connection between emotional and physical resistance and the healing power of these collective responses. It will also give us some insights into the trans-generational impact of trauma. It will help us understand the lived experience of the adult children of the disappeared and the politically executed and the meaning-making systems they have generated as a result of their personal experiences of engaging in these practices. It will also assist us in understanding the role of memorializing the body as an act of resistance, its meaning, and healing power. The use of artistic workshops to explore these practices will give us therapeutic information about the effectiveness of developing art-oriented interventions. In addition, it will assist those therapists and researchers working in the field of cross-cultural counselling to understand similar embodied responses to trauma, and to develop appropriate counselling interventions. It is expected that this study will contribute to documenting the historical collective processes of resistance during the dictatorship in Chile. Finally, it is hoped that this investigation will inform other disciplines such as oral history, anthropology, and sociology by explicating the role of people in organizing and responding to organized government repression. 37 C H A P T E R 3: C O N C E P T U A L I Z A T I O N OF T H E S T U D Y In this chapter I present a conceptualization of the study by discussing relevant research and theories in areas linked to the subject matter as well as the research questions that guide the research. The chapter is divided into seven sections. In the first section I present some ideas derived from social psychology that have guided me in visualizing and understanding the study. In the second section I present my conceptualization of collective memories in the context of social oblivion. In the third section I describe the evolution of the concept of trauma until the development of the notion of psychosocial trauma that I used in this study. In section four I discuss some ideas about the social transmission of trauma in the context of mass genocides and war. Section five is devoted to conceptualizing the transmission of trauma resulting from human rights violations in Chile. In section six I present a conceptualization of social body in the context of the disappeared. I continue by exploring the embodied relationship between perception and memory and I finish by presenting my understanding of embodiment. In the final section I offer some theories about the healing power of art in psychology, I describe some of the collective artistic expressions used in Chile during the dictatorship and I conclude by presenting a project that integrates the notions of art and memory to heal the wounds of two generations of trauma survivors. Ideas Derived from Social Psychology Social psychology like many others disciplines in the social sciences has experienced changes throughout its development. Spanish social psychologist Tomas Ibafiez (1990) identifies that social psychology emerged as an independent discipline after a long transformation process in which society moved from being conceived as a natural object of study to being understood as a social production, that is to say, as an object that changes according to the activity of human beings (1990). Traditional forms of social psychology have centered their attention on the 38 contextual variables that affect individuals such as race, class, social status, or gender, but that are contextualized as essentially independent from the individuals. In Piper's (2002) view, this analysis continues to focus on the individual without a reflexive analysis of "the social". According to Ibanez (1990, 1994) and Piper (2002), the challenge to expand the knowledge about the social production of intersubjectivities has led social psychologists to acknowledge the following issues: (a) Recognize the symbolic nature of reality. The social character of reality becomes evident when a group of people construct shared meanings. It is this pool of meanings that allow individuals through language to invest certain objects with a series of qualities they do not have "per se". This symbolic dimension of social reality is given by the construction and circulation of meanings. This implies that the social does not reside in the individual, nor outside of them, but "in-between " people, that is to say in the space of meanings that are constructed collectively (Ibanez, 1994, p. 227). (b) The acknowledgment of the historical nature of social reality. In recent years the idea that societies not only have history but also a historical dimension has become unquestionable Ibanez, 1994 . This notion suggests that social phenomena not only have memory but also a future. That is to say, they experience changes in the evolution of their current characteristics, which identifies the process-oriented nature of its constitution. By disregarding this temporal characteristic of social phenomena we are transforming them into stable objects of study, changing therefore their nature and identity. (c) The acknowledgement of the importance of reflexivity. This issue addresses the capacity of human beings of breaking the object/subject dichotomy by fusing both terms in a circular relationship that allows constructing the social nature of human beings. This implies that the subject is capable of taking him/herself as an object of analysis, thus opening the possibility 39 for the creation of shared meanings and intersubjective spaces that are the basis of the social dimension of society. This implies also that reflexivity has to be extended to social sciences by becoming object of analysis, which also identifies the role of social researchers in examining their own reflexive practices. (d) The acknowledgement of human agency. According to this idea human behavior is to a great extent propositional, this means that human behaviors and intentions show a causality that highlights the relative self-determination of the agents, thus challenging the deterministic notion promoted by positivists thinkers. (e) The acknowledgement of the dialectical character of social reality. This view places its emphasis on the relational nature and the process-oriented character of social phenomena. This means that society only acquires a status of existence through the practices developed by the individuals, at the same time individuals do not exist as social beings unless they are placed in the context of a society. Therefore their interaction becomes a mutually constructed process. (f) The acknowledgement of the appropriateness of a constructionist perspective to construct reality. In this regard they propose that social psychologists need to consider a constructionist stand by focusing on the role of cultural constructions and linguistic principles given that every social phenomena is intrinsically historical therefore at least partially constructed through linguistic conventions and cultural practices (Ibanez, 1994; Piper, 2002). Social Representation Social representation is a theoretical model that developed from the work of Serge Moscovici. It explores the social construction of reality by focusing on the social origins of reasoning and the categories we use to construct a vision of reality and the events that constitute our world (Taramasco & Perez, 2001). They are understood as a means to interpret and apprehend every day life in order to transform what is unknown into something familiar by 40 giving meaning to the unexpected. Social representations develop in social contexts, where individuals and groups are confronted with different forms of communication among them; through the cultural frames that define them; and through the values and ideologies that reflect people's belonging to specific social groups. In sum social representations develop in the interaction among individuals (Prado & Krause, 2004). Jodelet (1994) explains that the concept of social representation is located in the intersection between the psychological and the social dimensions. From the psychological dimension we understand how the individual constructs everyday knowledge by becoming familiar and integrating the new elements that emerge in their social life modifying therefore his/her behaviors according to social representations. The second dimension is given by the highly social nature of these representations and by the collective construction of its cultural character (Jodelet, 1986, as cited in Ibanez, 1994). The role of social communication is also identified as an essential factor in constructing social representations. Therefore social actors construct and elaborate social representations in everyday conversation and through the information presented by the media (Ibanez, 1994). According to Prado and Krause (2004) the dual nature of social representations are a strong foundation over which a subculture or social group sustains its conception of the world. The process of constructing knowledge generally takes place as a result of changes in the life conditions of a society. As defined by Moscovici (1987) social representations emerge in moments of crisis and conflicts. In these contexts people begin a process of collective communication in order to understand, manage, and adapt to the symbolic and practical life conditions imposed by the new situation. In this sense social representations allow people to classify and understand big scale events by integrating complex and conflictive events into social thought. This process also contributes to the legitimization and the acceptance of the new social 41 J order. This function of legitimizing happens at a symbolic and a practical level given that they generate behaviors consistent with the reproduction of social relations established by the ruling social order (Moscovici, 1961, as cited in Paez, 1987). Social representations are the result of communication processes that embody the beliefs, values, and ways of thinking of the members of the group. The processes of sharing these group characteristics constructs a pool of knowledge, common sense, and models of explaining and justifying events. These communication processes take place inside reflective groups. These groups are defined by their own members according to specific criteria to decide who belongs to them. The common knowledge created inside these groups implies also a commonly shared identity, which is a precondition for the existence of these groups (Prado & Krause, 2004). In the case of Chile, the Coup d'etat represented an extremely meaningful event in the history of the country. It affected the population in different aspects: personal, familial, social, and, more specifically, in their life options and emotional bonds. In this sense, the coup d'etat forced people to reorganize and re-elaborate the meanings of the social structures that supported their lives until that moment. Therefore, the different social groups that formed the country at that time began constructing their own social representations about September 11th, 1973 with the corresponding cognitive, symbolic, and affective components about this event. The concept of reflective groups assist us in understanding that in Chile people from different political orientations - right, centre, and left - form diverse reflexive groups given that their members are conscious of their belonging and have guidelines for accepting new members. Therefore, it is possible to infer that they have constructed specific social representations of the September 11th, 1973 events that are likely to be reconstructed within the group as new events emerge and members adapt their social identity and belonging needs to these groups (Prado & Krause, 2004). 42 Conceptualizing Collective Memories as a Social Practice In this section I present a discussion about memory and oblivion as social practices in the context of the dictatorships in Latin America based on the notions of collective memory and social oblivion. The French sociologist Maurice Halbwachs (1992) was the first to introduced the notion of "collective memory" at the beginning of the last century. In his view, memory is a social practice constructed through the integration of individual memories that are formed and organized within social frames. These frames are made up of the general representations of a society or a particular social group within society incorporating their values and needs. Thus, the act of collectively remembering social events is fundamental in the process of constructing new narratives and reframing the meanings of old ones. This process is often reinforced by commemorations and group rituals. The social nature of memories implies that we remember social events with the help of the memories of others, within a context of shared cultural codes, even though personal memories are individual and unique, thus memories are in essence a reconstruction of past events (Halbwachs, 1992). Time and space are among the most important social frames. In this sense, time refers to the dates that represent meaningful events so they can be evoked later, allowing societies or groups to construct traditions, and an identity that can allow them to recognize themselves as members of a group (Halbwachs, 1992; Mendoza, 2005). Likewise, people leave tracks in places. Every society transforms the space they occupy in their own particular ways, and in this manner they construct fixed frames where they enclose their memories. Spaces contain and construct memory given that experiences are kept in the corners, in the parks, or any other places where groups live their reality and make meaning of their experiences (Halbwachs, 1992; Mendoza, 2005). Likewise memory can be constructed through artifacts and instruments like museums, archives, and galleries; libraries are created and organized with the purpose of storing and communicating the present and the past of a society or 43 group to the future generations (Middleton & Edwards, 1992). However, the most important frame of collective memory is language, given that it is through language that people construct, communicate, and maintain the contents and meanings of memory. Collective memory is often referred to as collective memories because the inteipretations about specific events will depend on the groups and collectivities that experienced, interpreted, and made meaning of those events (Mendoza, 2005). Halbwachs's (1992) conceptualization of memory has a number of elements in common with the notion of social representations discussed earlier, thus suggesting the possibility of defining collective memory as a form of social representation of a historicl event (Prado & Krause, 2004). Social Oblivion The other side of the process of collective memory is social oblivion. Social oblivion has been a recurrent form of communication in many cultures throughout time. Oblivion can be constructed in different ways, following different patterns and procedures. Mendoza (2005) argues that social oblivion is usually controlled by the power of the dominant group that imposes and modifies the social practices of control that determine to a great extent what is to be forgotten and what needs to be remembered (Mendoza, 2005). In this regard, Middleton and Edwards (1992) state that, "who controls the past controls the future, but also who controls the past controls who we are" (p. 26). The mechanisms that operate to prevent people's communication about meaningful events can be silence, omission, imposition, prohibition, censorship, and the use of terror or any other mechanism that leads to oblivion (Jelin, 2002; Shotter, 1992). In this case we can speak of institutional oblivion, which is the social amnesia imposed by the groups that control society while sustaining power (Mendoza 2005; Middleton & Edwards, 1992; Shotter, 1992). According to Mendoza (2005) social oblivion can be defined as: the impossibility of evoking or expressing meaningful events that at a certain point had a place in the social life of a group or society because the communication is blocked or 44 forbidden by the entities in control, that attempt to silence those events in order to impose a unified vision of the past, or because other visions of the past do not fit the social framework of the institutions controlling society (p. 10). While memory is based on language, oblivion is based on silence. An example of social oblivion is the silence of the governments in Latin America about the fate of the political disappeared (Galeano, 1986). According to Mendoza (2005), oblivion starts from the individual and social practices of silence. At the individual level, there is an absence of speaking either to oneself (internal dialogue) or in public with others. In this process there is little or no reflection; what is not said does not count. Therefore at the social level what has never been narrated does not exist or at least has no collective meaning. This is the case of mass tragedies or killings that, when they are not openly narrated, lead to social oblivion because they are not present in the narratives transmitted to the future generations (Jelin, 2002). The social silence imposed by those in control can also include the forceful destruction of social forms of communication like murals, books, and poetry. In the case of Chile, the dictatorship burned books, destroyed art, closed newspaper publishers and magazines, prohibited painting slogans and murals on walls, all attempting to erase the memory of ideas, history, and social actors (Lira, 1997). Another form of control of memory is the media. From this perspective the media has a strong influence on controlling people given that the official discourses limit and give shape to what can and cannot be said, thought, written, and remembered (Middleton & Edwards, 1992). Mendoza (2005) argues that when groups in power want to erase the past, the media speaks about the people, groups, actions, or situations like objects, therefore what remains in the memory of people are numbers as facts. Thus turning people and events into something without meaning. An example of this concept is "the subversive elements" used by the State-controlled media in Chile and Argentina during the dictatorships that intended to dehumanize people by objectifying those people involved in fighting the military regime (Mendoza, 2005). In addition, this type of 45 information is referential, since it does not allow evoking or remembering anything personal or human about the people involved. Perhaps the most obvious way of silencing the memory of people is through the imposition of terror to erase memory. In this case many victims opted for forgetting even their friends and companeros as a way of protecting themselves in case they were tortured. In this context, not to remember was a way of saving lives. On the other hand, the narratives of the victims and survivors do not have a place in the public space. Therefore narrations are not enough when there is no one willing or ready to listen. In that case the only solution is to keep silent, or to attempt to forget as in the case of the survivors of the Holocaust (Jelin, 2002). In this regard Mendoza (2005) explains, "when societies forget their own victims they forget a piece of their lives" (p. 15). In this sense the different events and meanings that a society has experienced are fragmented once the mechanisms of oblivion begin to operate, thus generating holes in the memory of the people where nobody knows what is hidden because the truth is concealed (Mendoza, 2005). Social oblivion exercised from the Sate is based on one imposed version of the past. This imposition attempts to make people believe that the State version is the natural result of the past and any other versions would lead to disorders or anarchy. According to Fernandez Christlieb (1991), the groups who sustain power often want to impose a vision of the past by portraying themselves as the heirs of that time, "and when they are questioned they often argue that one should not look at the past, but rather towards the future because the future is where we can find progress" (p. 58). Consequently he argues, "progress that is based on power does not have memory" (Fernandez Christlieb, 1991, p. 58). This is the discourse often used in transition processes in Latin America where there is a denial of the truth, and unwillingness to fully review other visions of the past, or to acknowledge 46 the horrors lived and responsibilities of those involved (Jelin2002). It has been the case that the State during these transition processes has destroyed places, such as torture centres and prisons, that hold the memory of what happened. They have also changed dates to give new meanings to commemorations of what happened in the past. In Chile for many years September 11th was a holiday imposed by the military to remember the martyrs that gave their lives for the country. It was also an opportunity for people to express their rejection to the dictatorship and to remember their vision of the events of the past. Recently the democratic government made that date a regular working day to avoid the public meetings and commemorations, and they replaced it with the day of National Reconciliation, which is observed on the first Monday of September (Mendoza, 2005). This change of dates is perceived by people as an imposition to change the meaning of this tragic day in favor of maintaining the social peace and order, and hence avoid dealing with the wounds of the past (Lira, 1998; Salazar, 2002). The fall of the dictatorships in Latin America brought the need to express the hidden narratives that were silenced during many years of attempting to reconstruct what was omitted and hidden. In this sense language acquired new meaning and became the vehicle for naming what was absent and allowing memory to come out of clandestiny. The memories of groups resist disappearing because they need a past to anchor their identity. As Umberto Eco argues, "when in a society censorship erases a part of their memory the society experiences an identity crisis" (as cited in Mendoza, 2005, p. 19). When this happens societies get lost and they struggle trying to maintain their memory and therefore a sense of their existence through the reconstruction of their identity (de la Parra, 2002; Lira, 1998). Memory as Social Identity Strongly linked to the notion of memory as a social practice is the role of memory in creating and maintaining individual and collective identity. Individual identity is constructed in 47 the intersection of the familial, social, cultural, ethnic, religious, and professional contexts linked to the transmission and biological constitution of the person (Kordon & Edelman, 2002). In this sense acts of remembering and memory are an essential part of our personal lives. Our individual memories are constantly re-enacted and collectivized through sharing our memories and the construction of collective images through which individuals perceive themselves as a collective (Connerton, 1989). As social and cultural beings we share memories to confirm our experiences and perceptions of the past, and to establish and maintain a sense of continuity and social identity (Halbwachs, 1992; Lowenthal, 1985). It is through this interplay that we construct a sense of continuity with the past and with others or a sense of discontinuity like in the case of mass trauma. Memories have the power to trigger mechanisms and processes of recognition that allow the individual and the collective to give meaning and purpose to their lives and affirm their identities (Lira, 1997; Lowenthal, 1985; Riisen, 1989). In this regard, Pierre Nora (1989) asserts that the need for identity is also a driving force for the individual. The "law of remembrance" has great coercive force for the individual; the discovery of roots of "belonging" to some groups becomes a source of identity, and therefore belonging becomes a true commitment (Nora, 1989, p. 11). Likewise, Chilean sociologist Tomas Moulian (1998) proposes that during the dictatorship the cult of remembering was the fuel of the political struggle. Remembering was a necessary exercise for those who participated in the fight against the dictatorship: "it was a way to reinforce their commitment" (Moulian, 1998, p. 98). Conceptualizations of Psychological Trauma In this section I present a description of the evolution of the concept of trauma, beginning from the first notions provided by Freud. I continue by reviewing the concepts of war neurosis, until the development of diagnostic psychiatric criteria of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, while addressing the limitations of this concept in describing psychosocial phenomena. I then present 48 the concepts of extreme traumatization and sequential traumatization. I conclude by describing the notion of psychosocial trauma that I use in this study as a working definition. The word "trauma" derives from the Greek language and means "wound" and it was initially used in the medical sciences (Bekerman, 2002) Its parallel use in psychology and psychiatry started in the late 19th century in an effort to explain the mental breakdown produced by external events (Madariaga, 2002). Historically, it has been documented that as early as 1666 during the Great Fire of London, the victims were described as presenting clinical symptoms similar to what would later be identified in people affected by traumatic events (Bekerman, 2002). However, it was not until the 19th century that psychic trauma began to attract scientific interest. Initially the focus of the analysis centered on intra-psychic conceptions of trauma. Thus, the first approach that attempts to understand this concept comes from psychoanalysis. Freud and Breuer in 1893 in the book Studies on Hysteria (1980) established that psychic trauma is the consequence of a big traumatic event or a temporal sequence of lesser traumas that operate on the psychic apparatus and overwhelm the protecting barriers of the individual and thus producing painful effects of fear, anxiety, shame, and psychic pain. The theory developed by Freud focuses on the energy charge imposed immediately after, or as a cumulative effect of, negative traumatic experiences on the individual so that the traumatic event interferes abruptly and progressively on an individual's psychic processes. In the construction of his theory, Freud developed the "consistency principle" which balances this energy charge at an intra-psychic level to allow a normal functioning of the mental processes (Freud & Breuer, 1980). According to this conception, the internalization of the energies coming from the individual's relations with the external world would be regulated by a protecting barrier that balances the energy flow. Therefore, a psychic trauma develops when the protecting barrier has been overwhelmed and the consistency principle is broken by the intensity 49 of the traumatic event. It is only under these internal psychic conditions that manifestations of trauma emerge. Further development of this theory focuses on the characteristics of the protecting barrier, which would utilize associative processes for the individual to make use of when internalizing the potentially traumatic events, thus suggesting a dynamic conception of psychic trauma. One of the merits of this theory according to Madariaga (2002) is that it proposes a psychic causality of the mental processes by identifying the internal mechanisms that the individual uses to process traumatic events, which suggests that the intra-psychic activity conditions the trauma and the posttraumatic state of the individual in unique and individual ways (Madariaga, 2002). War Neurosis The First World War brought along not only the death of more than eight million people in four years, but also a renewed interest in understanding the symptomatology experienced by those survivors of the horrors of the battle fields. These symptoms included crying and screaming uncontrollably, speechlessness and unresponsiveness, memory loss, and incapacity to feel and resembled Freud's notion of hysteria in women. These symptoms were initially attributed to a physical cause that was probably related to the explosion of grenades, and therefore this disorder was called "shell shock" (Herman, 1997). However, it became clear that the symptoms were also found in those soldiers who were not exposed to physical trauma, which lead military psychiatrists to conclude that these symptoms were due to psychological trauma and the name was changed to "combat neurosis" or "combat fatigue" (Bekerman, 2002). Initially the moral quality of the soldiers was questioned, they were accused of being cowards and weak, they were called "moral invalids", and punishments and threats were applied to those who experienced the symptoms (Herman, 1997). For example, a common treatment for speechlessness and sensory loss was electric shock (Bekerman, 2002; Herman, 1997). 50 During the Second World War the study of combat neurosis received renewed interest. In 1941 Abraham Kardiner wrote The Traumatic Neurosis of War where he compiled early findings about this syndrome. In 1952 the first edition of the Diagnostic Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) was published, which included the notion of "gross stress reaction" that describes the symptoms of exposure to intolerable stress (Bekerman, 2002). In the following years the study and development of interventions focused on the experiences of the Holocaust survivors, veterans of Second World, Korean, and Vietnam Wars, and provided crucial information for the study and development of a concept to understand the intense psychological effects of those people who experienced traumatic events. Current conceptualizations of trauma define it as extremely painful individual experiences that disrupt the systems that allow people to create and feel a sense of control, connection, and meaning (Herman, 1997). Trauma implies complete psychological breakdown on an individual level, which is often compared to the experience of death. This breakdown can occur in one event or over a prolonged period of time, in which case it is difficult to identify the exact moment when the psychic structure begins to collapse (Beker, 2003). Therefore, these traumatic experiences are likely to result in psychological dysfunction in both the short and long term (Agger & Jensen, 1996; Caruth, 1995; Herman, 1997; Lira, 1998; van der Veer, 1998; Vinar & Ulriksen, 1993). The vast amount of research about trauma eventually led to the development of the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder definition, which includes specific symptoms. This concept is currently included in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10) (WHO, 1992) and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) (APA, 2000). DSM-IV-TR (APA, 2000) identifies the following symptoms resulting from exposure to extreme trauma: persistent re-experiencing of the traumatic event (Criterion B); persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma and numbing of general responsiveness (Criterion C); 51 and persistent symptoms of increase arousal (Criterion D). The full symptom picture must be present for more than one month (Criterion E), and the disturbance must cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning (Criterion F) (p. 463). The limitations of the individual-oriented focus of this definition have been amply criticized in recent years (Beker, 2003; Bekerman, 2002; Kleinman, 1995; Madariaga, 2002; Martin-Baro, 1996). The main criticisms concentrate on the ahistorical nature of this notion given that it does not establish specific criteria for understanding the individual's prior life events, personality, biography, and, more specifically, the socio-historical contexts in which the trauma took place. Therefore the lack of personal information about the individual will have an impact on the understanding that we might have about the individual's role in the social conflict (that is to say, the dialectical relationship between the individual and society). This restricted view of the traumatic situation will also interfere in the understanding of the real impact of the traumatic event on the individual, thus also placing the traumatic event in an ahistorial position. In addition, the definition does not include specific characteristics of traumas produced by the violation of human rights where the genesis of the trauma is associated to State issues of control and power, thus disregarding the social and political nature of some massive traumas. Consequently, the traumatic damage is only conceived as a constellation of symbols that, rather that unifying the traumatic experience, tend to separate it from the biopsychosocial impact these events have on people's lives by omitting the fact that the traumatic event is prior to the development of symptoms (Madariaga, 2002; Martin-Baro, 1996). Extreme Traumatization As already stated, the development of the concept of trauma initially focused on the individual, however the horrific experience of the Second World War began to change this individual conception by incorporating the social, cultural, and political contexts as trauma producing environments. Bruno Bettelheim (1981), survivor of the Jewish Holocaust, developed 52 a theory based on his own experiences and the social context in which they developed. He centers his analysis on the quality of the traumatic event, suggesting that the traumatic incident emerges and can be understood from a socio-political context, which makes this type of trauma exceptionally specific (Beker, 2003). The concentration camp trauma follows a supra national logic of confrontation of economic and political interests that explains the dehumanizing violence exercised on the Jewish population and other minority groups. The traumatic event is described as a sequence of painful events intended to produce a sense of constant life threat. The daily extermination of people creates a psychosocial climate that he calls "limit situation". This endless danger compounded by the impossibility of escaping makes it almost impossible to develop coping or defensive strategies. Furthermore, this inability to cope is further exacerbated by an altered sense of time, a different dimension in which the human suffering takes place. In such conditions, the persistence of the limited situations'destroys all the psychic defensive barriers and leads to what Bettelheim (1981) calls a "state of extreme traumatization" (as cited in Madariaga, 2002, p. 12). This final state not only refers to the global deterioration of the psychic functions, but also to the physical involution of the prisoner so that death is the result of the psychological and physiological deterioration of the organism. Bettelheim's contribution to the conceptualization of trauma adds two new elements: the need to contextualize the traumatic event within a socio-historical framework, and the psychobiological dimension of trauma (Baker, 2003; Del Solar & Piper, 1995; Madariaga, 2002). Sequential Traumatization Based on his experiences of the war conditions produced by the occupation of Holland by the Nazis, Hans Keilson (1992) expands the notion of trauma by focusing on the political context in order to define the characteristics of the traumatic event. He based his analysis on the changing conditions produced by the process of systematic violation of the right to physical, 53 psychic, and moral integrity throughout time. In his view, the traumatic charge on the individual is produced by concrete socio-historical conditions. These conditions are the result of political conflicts around power issues that are resolved through the implementation of domination strategies by the hegemonic forces. These strategies when transformed into State politics are implemented in violent processes that are constantly modified according to the practical results of its implementation (Keilson, 1992). Therefore, the strategic and tactical resources of State terrorism, its particular objectives, the selection of human groups that receive the repressive actions, the psychological war, the torture methods, and the genocide are continually redesigned according to the level of success in controlling the social responses to the established power (Keilson, 1992; Madariaga, 2002). In his work Keilson (1992) identifies three traumatic sequences derived from the war experience he studied. The first one refers to the initial impact of the military invasion and following occupation of the territory; the second focuses on the massacres, persecution, deportations, and destruction of the families carried out during the period of domination; and the third one centers on the psychosocial consequences of the post-war period. The sequences proposed by Keilson identify the historical moments when sociopolitical changes and repressive strategies occurred and the subsequent qualitative changes in the psychosocial responses of the population to this collective trauma. The author develops the concept of "extreme traumatic situation" (Keilson, 1992) to identify the psychopathogenic condition that affects the population in each sequence. In his view, trauma develops as a continuous stress of extreme intensity due to the permanent situation of life threat that permeates the social tissue. Under these conditions individual psychological disorders can potentially become chronic and project themselves as transgenerational damage into the new generations. 54 The theoretical contribution of Keilson resides on the following issues: the significance he assigns to the meta analysis of the socio-historical causality of trauma; his role in the characterization of psychic trauma as a process phenomena that extends over time with the potential of affecting other generations; since there is no 'post' in trauma but only a continuing traumatic process, the mental health professionals who work with trauma victims are also always part of the traumatic situation and do not operate outside of it. Finally, one of the advantages of Keilson's concept is that it can easily be used to conceptualize traumatic situations in different cultural, social, and political settings (Del Solar, & Piper, 1995; Beker, 2003; Madariaga, 2002). Psychosocial Trauma In Latin America, the conceptualization of trauma centers not only on the socio-historical roots of trauma, but it also adds the socio-economic factors that contribute to developing a traumatizing context. Ignacio Martfn-Baro (1990, 1996) developed a theoretical proposal after a careful analysis of the protracted armed conflict in El Salvador. His approach is an integration of a new sociopolitical and psychosocial framework that views the traumatic experience as a process containing several stages. For him the starting point of the traumatic sequence of events is the structural inequality of historical socio-economic conditions in the Salvadorian society that triggers social violence that eventually led to a civil war. So it is this structural condition that generates perturbed social relationships that lead to deep social divisions and social and political conflicts among opposing groups and social classes that at the same time produce traumatic situations. The second stage is characterized by the intensification of the social conflicts that can no longer be controlled by pacific means; this is the beginning of an armed conflict that ends up in civil war. This is the period where violence acquires the most dehumanizing expression represented by the physical and psychological annihilation of human beings. In the last stage, or post war period, social relations are still disturbed as a result of the war conflict (Martin-Baro, 55 1990). From this psychosocial conceptualization we are able to understand the social, historical, and political rather than individual roots of trauma, while at the same time he identifies the dialectical nature of these phenomena, which are always mediated by an interplay of institutional, social, and individual relations. Martin-Baro (1996) proposes that in order to characterize psychosocial trauma it is not only important to pay attention to the posttraumatic situation, but also to the pre-traumatic situation, by analyzing the "trauma as a normal consequence of a social system's way of functioning" (p. 123). By engaging in this type of analysis we can understand that psychosocial trauma can be the "normal" result of systems based on oppressive and dehumanizing social conditions. Likewise, a psychological disorder can be the normal reaction to abnormal conditions. Central to his analysis is the notion that trauma is socially produced, "therefore understanding and resolving it, requires not only treating the problems of individual, but also its social roots" (Martin-Baro, 1996, 125). Finally, trauma becomes chronic when the problems that caused the trauma in the first place remain intact. Consequently, the social problems of individuals are not only the cause of the trauma; maintaining the social structures that sustain the traumatic situation is what eventually leads to multiplying the number of traumatized individuals in a society (Martin-Baro, 1996). Transmission of T r a u m a In this section I present a brief overview of relevant literature regarding generational transmission of trauma. Istart by providing a brief review of the studies that developed as a consequence of the Holocaust. I continue with the description of studies that identify the social denial and silencing as a factor in the transmission of trauma in the Armenian survivors of Turkish genocide, the Japanese survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and children of military personnel missing in action in Vietnam. 56 The study of how trauma is transmitted to other generations has been amply researched and reported in the psychological and psychiatric literature, thus constructing a theoretical body of research that focuses on modes of transmission, content of material transmitted, effects on the new generations, and psychological interventions among other areas. The first systematized works are attributed to Sigmund Freud (1986) whose studies in this area have served as the base for the development of psychoanalytically oriented theories (Kaez, Faimberg, Enriquez, & Baranes, 1996; Tisseron et al., 1997). The notion of an intergenerational transmission of trauma began to develop in the 1950s when the German government decided to indemnify victims of the Nazi Holocaust. However in order to carry out this task they needed to establish some standards. These criteria focused on the physical consequences excluding symptoms and emotional disorders, leaving therefore a great number of people without financial retribution and psychological assistance (Weber, 1988). In the 1960s the specific symptoms presented by a large number of adult children of survivors of the Nazi Holocaust began to be acknowledged in clinical settings, particularly because they were not found in other populations. These initial studies concentrated on clinical samples that focused mostly on the effects of one single event: the Nazi Holocaust (Danieli, 1998). The studies began to show that there were certain symptoms associated with survivors and their children, who experienced specific psychological and psychopathological symptoms, thus concluding that survivors had been affected in diverse degrees according to their traumatic experiences that were not directly related to pre- and post-war adaptation processes. Psychiatrist Leo Eitinger (1980), a Norwegian Holocaust survivor himself, was amongst the first to study the late-onset of psychological trauma experienced by survivors of the Holocaust who went through separation and psychological pain early in life. His findings indicate that the survivor syndrome is a specific factor among this population, which would be strongly linked to the severity of the traumatic experiences of survivors of the 57 Holocaust and their children. In addition he suggests that the effects of trauma in children are likely to show decades later (Eitinger, 1980). Consequently, by 1980 these initial conceptualizations were defined as "survivor syndrome" and included as a separate category in the 3r d edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-III; APA, 1980). In the history of the development of a concept of intergenerational trauma we observe that the reactions of society at large to survivors of the Nazi Holocaust had a negative impact on their adaptation to posttrauma situations and their ability to integrate their traumatic experiences. The initial reactions encountered by survivors were of indifference, avoidance, and denial of their Holocaust experiences. These reactions were partly prompted by the horrific testimonies that led people to assume that asking questions or addressing the issues would inflict further damage on the victims. Another common response was a tendency to blame the survivors by the passive way in which they reacted to the their own destiny. These general reactions led survivors to conclude that nobody cared and nobody would understand them, thus becoming silent about their Holocaust experiences (Danieli, 1998). This societal denial transformed into what Yael Danieli (1998) has denominated "the Conspiracy of Silence" (1998, p. 4) between the Holocaust survivors and society including mental health and other professionals. Danieli (1998) identifies that this conspiracy of silence proved to be extremely detrimental for the survivors' reintegration to society by exacerbating their already profound sense of isolation, loneliness, and mistrust of society. At a personal level this conspiracy affected the survivors' integration of their traumas at the intrapsychic level, therefore their possibilities of mourning their massive losses was an extremely complicated process. In some case the survivors opted for telling their Holocaust stories to their children who became a captive audience. In others, this conspiracy of silence was welcomed by the survivors, who believed that by forgetting their stories they would be helping their children becoming normal people (Solomon, 1998). In both situations the presence of the 58 Holocaust invaded their children's lives by integrating their parents' stories or the knowledge of the Holocaust into their own lives. Over the years the literature on Holocaust survivors and second-generation effects has been subject to fierce controversy and open criticism regarding methodological issues, such as generalizability of findings, appropriateness of samples, and a tendency to over pathologize the experience of survivors who are perceived as transmitting deep psychopathologies to the next generations (Auerhahn & Laub, 1998). These initial understandings roused readers' suspicions and skepticisms and were even rejected by some survivors themselves, who felt that to expose the magnitude of the Nazi destruction was akin to confirm Hitler's posthumous victory (Danieli, 1998). According to Auerhahn and Laub (1998), trying to modify this early bias has created an overcorrection that further discourages an understanding of the Holocaust as a "core existential and relational experience for both generations" (1998, p. 21). Hence the literature shows that this initial controversy helped researchers and clinicians identify the diversity of meanings found in the Holocaust suffering, which does not deny either the existence of pathologies nor the undeniable resilience and coping of the survivors and their children. Thus, the literature seems to be divided among those who focus on the negative effects of trauma, and those who search for the survivors' strengths and coping skills (Auerhahn & Laub, 1998; Kellermann, 2001; Solomon, 1998). In response to the overwhelming amount of literature that focuses on the Holocaust experience in understanding the transgenerational transmission of trauma, Yael Danieli, as editor of the International Handbook of Multigenerational Legacies of Trauma (1998) introduces us to a selection of articles on transgenerational transmission of trauma. He presents the articles from varied cultural, religious, and political contexts and diverse disciplines in an attempt to address 59 the increasing need to expand the pool of existing knowledge while maintaining a worldwide dialogue about these issues. In the following section I review the impact of society's conspiracy of silence to deal with mass trauma, the psychological impact on the populations affected, and its role in transmitting trauma across generations. In a review of relevant psychological literature related to the effects of the massacre of Armenian people by the Turkish government in 1915, Kupelian, Kalayjian, & Kassabian, (1998) found that the systematic denial of the Turkish government of the time and its successors who continue to deny their responsibility with public campaigns of disinformation has interfered with the ability of the survivors, their children, and grandchildren to mourn their losses and integrate their traumatic history into their lives. In this case the silence about this massacre came from outside their community affecting all Armenians. As time went by silence took over because the story was simply forgotten by most non-Armenians, contrary to what happened with Holocaust survivors where there was initially a sort of tacit agreement to avoid addressing a painful subject, but eventually there was a full acknowledgement of the Holocaust represented by the Nuremburg trials. However, the generalized lack of acknowledgement of the Armenians' suffering by the international community had similar effects on the survivors: they felt alienated and dishonored and their suffering pointless. At a social level the impunity experienced by the survivors until today is experienced as a form of trivializing and denigrating the survivors and their families by denying their victimization. As Kupelian, Kalayjian, and Kassabian explain: They [Armenians] view the Turkish denial of the historical fact of the genocide as a psychological continuation of the genocide, and a second continuing victimization. The purpose of the genocide is to eradicate a people and a culture from the face of the earth; to deny their pain is to deny their humanity, and it psychologically serves the genocidal purposes (1998, p. 195). 60 Boyajian and Grigorian identified the traumatic sequelae of the genocide on individuals in an early study in 1982 (as cited in Kupelian, Kalayjian, & Kassabian, 1998). In this study they found symptoms among Armenian survivors that are analogous to those of Holocaust survivors. These include anxiety, depression, compulsive association to trauma-related material, guilt, nightmares, irritability, anhedonia, and a fear of loving (1998, p. 194). In a subsequent study conducted in 1988 with survivors, their second-generation children, and third-generation grandchildren, they concluded that most participants experienced anger, frustration, anxiety, and guilt. In the case of the second-generation participants, their anxiety was strongly associated to their parents' overprotectiveness. All of the generations presented anger and frustration associated with the modern Turkish government's denial of the genocide, which was compounded by other governments' tolerance of that denial (Boyajian & Grigorian as cited in Kupelian, Kalayjian, & Kassabian, 1998). These studies identify the damaging effects across generation of social invisibility of the suffering experienced by Armenian people, which are represented by the ongoing refusal of the Turkish government to accept full responsibility for the genocide. They also highlight the strategies used by Armenian people to oppose oblivion and impunity by focusing on strengthening the family and community through actively keeping their cultural identity alive. A similar example of collective massive trauma and the following societal silencing is provided by the experience of Japanese survivors of weapons of mass destruction used against civilians during the Second World War. On August 6 th and 9 th, 1945, the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and then on Nagasaki in order to end the war with Japan. The killing of about 70,000 people was instant. Some were evaporated leaving their shapes as shadows on the stone walls and steps of buildings (Tatara, 1998). By the end of 1945 the death toll was estimated to be 200,000 (Sawada, Chaitin, & Bar-On, 2004). As Tatara (1998) explains, 61 the trauma of the bomb has been explained as extensive: it. was a massive and instantaneous happening, the cause of death after the bomb was invisible; there have been long-lasting physical and psychological suffering, there are still many unknown areas regarding the effects of radiation on the human body. However, in spite of the massive destruction and death the psychological impact of this trauma on the "Hibakusha", the name used for survivors of the atomic bomb, and the second-generation or "Hibakusha Nisei", has rarely been studied (Sawada, Chaitin, & Bar-On, 2004; Tatara, 1998). According to Tatara (1998) the reasons for this lack of attention by the research community and the reluctance of survivors to openly share their experiences need to be understood in the context of broader sociopolitical, cultural, biological, and psychological factors. Tatara identifies four main reasons linked to this silence that also illustrate the intergenerational consequences of the atomic bomb. First, sociopolitical factors include the support of many nations of nuclear weapons, in spite of a growing antinuclear armament movement. Therefore, for those countries that support them, nuclear weapons are a justifiable means of defense against enemies. In addition, those Asian countries who were occupied by Japan during the war view the atomic bomb as their liberation, believing that if the bombs had not been used Japan would have never surrendered. Second, the biological factors include long-range effects of radiation on the human body, particularly in relation to genetic and hereditary aspects of radiation. Currently there is no conclusive evidence on the radiation effects, however the Japanese government acknowledges defects in the children of survivors as one of the effects of the bomb (Sawada, Chaitin, & Bar-On, 2004). Third, he identifies social and psychological factors. At the social level the Japanese government covers only the medical care of survivors, but does no provide social or economic support for their families. Many of the long-lasting physical effects of radiation on Hibakushas result in generalized physical weakness, which 62 impacts on their ability to hold steady jobs. The resulting lack of employment manifests in low social status, putting them and their families at social and economic disadvantages. This is compounded by the on-going concerns of many survivors and their children who fear getting married or having children and afraid that they might transmit radiation-related physical disorders. These.concerns are also experienced by the general population, who were not affected by radiation. Knowledge that a person comes from a Hibakusha family raises concerns about having "bad blood' (contaminated by radiation), therefore second-generation survivors may experience social rejection when trying to marry, thus stigmatizing the survivors, their entire families, and future generations. The psychological and social burden of the stigmatization and rejection experienced by the survivors is expressed through silence about their experiences (Tatara, 1998). This invisibility is also manifested in the few research studies that explore their psychological suffering. In a recent narrative study, Sawada, Chaitin, and Bar-On (2004) explored the lived experiences of eight survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Their findings begin to unfold the level of emotional suffering experienced by this population as well as the difficulty in disclosing personal information. In their narratives, Hibakusha focuses on the bomb experience and the negative physical and social impact on their lives afterward. To a lesser extent they spoke about their recurrent death images and related imagery, psychic numbing, the struggle to find meaning in this experience, their fears of hurting their children, survivors guilt in a few cases, and mistrust of people. The researchers concluded that the reluctance exhibited by the victims to expand on these issues and to include in their narratives the effects of the atomic bomb on others within their society reflects the fact that the "conspiracy of silence" that seems to characterize Japanese society may have a detrimental effect on victims' physical health, and they theorize 63 that the physical health of survivors might improve if survivors are encouraged to talk about their past, rather than hiding it (Sawada, Chaitin, & Bar-On, 2004). Another interesting area of exploration related to the context of the present study is the experience of children of military personnel missing in action in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War (MIAs). Unlike other wars, the Vietnam War (1959-1975) was extremely unpopular with the American public in general. The first men were missing or captured in 1964; at that time the government ordered the families not to mention that their family members were missing or imprisoned. The government also neglected to mention that there were many other families experiencing similar losses; therefore they began a lonely journey fearing that they would hurt their love ones if they talked about it. For years they coped alone since there was no support from the government and little from friends who were not aware of their loss. It was not until 1969 that the North Vietnam government threatened to execute war prisoners that the families themselves became activists. By the late 1960s these families had organized the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia. The organization's objectives are to obtain the release of all prisoners of war (POW) and to achieve the fullest possible accounting for the MIA personnel, including the return of the remains of those who died serving their country during the war. Edna Hunter-King (1998) conducted a study in 1988 about the impact on children of missing fathers during the Vietnam War. In this initial pilot survey conducted almost 15 years after the war had ended, she identified some long-term effects on MIA children. Some of the people that participated in her survey identified some negative effects, while others were able to have a positive evaluation of the experience. Among the negative effects she found that all participants were still struggling with the prolonged and ambiguous nature of the loss, and therefore their long-lasting inability to find a sense of resolution. This inability to find closure 64 translated into developing certain attitudes toward close relationships, particularly committing to marriage in the case of daughters. This hesitance to commit themselves to deep emotional relationships seemed to be anchored in their fear of experiencing loss or abando
UBC Theses and Dissertations
The body as a site of resistance and enactment of collective memories and trauma : an exploratory study… Soto, Adriana Espinoza 2007
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