Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Tradition, Translation, TraumaThe Classic and the Modern$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jan Parker and Timothy Mathews

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199554591

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199554591.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 January 2021

History as Traumatic Memory

History as Traumatic Memory

Das Á‎fricas1

(p.299) 16 History as Traumatic Memory
Tradition, Translation, Trauma

Helena Buescu

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a reading of Das Áfricas (1991) by José Afonso Furtado (photographs) and Maria Velho da Costa (text). It asks: why does Velho da Costa say she is afraid of these photographs in particular? What do they stir in her that might account for this kind of feeling and therefore explain what would otherwise seem an unreasonable reaction to a group of apparently peaceful, even tranquil pictures? The chapter shows that the traumatic events at the source of this text belong to that same sombre family that a certain inscription of history and cultural memory has tried to express in recent years in relation to events such as the Holocaust. They both have to do with how history is inscribable in photographs that do not show violence in itself, yet represent the remnants of that historical violence in an apparently tranquil way. It is argued that precisely the ‘inhuman’ character of this history accounts for the materialization of fear, born out of a traumatic representation that one should be able to locate and try to understand as such.

Keywords:   Das Áfricas, José Afonso Furtado, Maria Velho da Costa, photographs, trauma

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .