Apartheid – Britain’s Bastard Child – Core Concepts


TRAUMATIC ENACTMENT/RE-ENACTMENT: Trauma, if not processed (worked through), psychologically demands repetition. It is repeated unconsciously, not as a memory, but as an action. The individual cannot escape the compulsive repetition.

TRANS or INTERGENERATIONAL TRAUMA: The descendants of a traumatised generation transmit the effects of their trauma to their children, who, in turn, pass it on to their offspring. These effects can be seen in a variety of ways. From actual post-traumatic stress symptoms to various kinds of symptoms similar to those experienced by their traumatised ancestors to a variety of tasks that are assigned to the younger generation by their parents.

FROZEN TRAUMA: When an individual has not worked through the initial trauma, he or she stays in a state of depression and anger at the loss. The unprocessed trauma is commonly a source of anxiety, irritability, depression and other emotional disturbances. Without proper grieving, emotional healing is not possible.

PSYCHOHISTORY: Peter Loewenberg, a theoretical psychohistorian, identified three aspects when studying history psychologically:

• The role of the unconscious in human behaviour – evident in daily life, adap-tations, action and inhibition, neuroses and psychosis, etc.

• The genetic approach that includes the importance of origins, antecedents and patterns of repetition. Saying: ‘Psychohistory is oriented to dynamic psychology in which the present reality interacts at all times with and is related to the personal and social past of the person in the unconscious’.

• To give recognition to personal and subjective experiences. Here, he emphasises the fantasies of the individual rather than ‘meaning externally ascribed’ – which represents the emotional meaning individuals attach to events, symbols or images.