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Perpetrator Trauma, Empathic Unsettlement, and the Uncanny: Conceptualizations of Perpetrators in South Africa’s Truth Commission Special Report

Author:

Michelle E Anderson

University of Cape Town, ZA
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Abstract

A fixed and reductionist “image” of the perpetrator in filmed media is one with which audiences are all too familiar, whether consciously or not. This article uses perpetrator trauma theory, empathic appeals, unsettlement, and the uncanny to explore the South African television programme Truth Commission Special Report in order to illustrate the ways in which the broadcast challenged or reified the conception of perpetrators as “monsters.” This will be exemplified through an analysis of several segments from the programme as it covered the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in transitional South Africa, and particularly its amnesty hearings of apartheid era perpetrators.
How to Cite: Anderson, M.E., 2018. Perpetrator Trauma, Empathic Unsettlement, and the Uncanny: Conceptualizations of Perpetrators in South Africa’s Truth Commission Special Report. Journal of Perpetrator Research, 2(1), pp.95–118. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/jpr.2.1.17
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Published on 16 Dec 2018.
Peer Reviewed

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