Accessing the Trauma of Communism. Language, Symbols and Representations
The Memorial of Pain – a TV series comprising 208 episodes – is a memorable documentary produced by the Romanian journalist-filmmaker Lucia Hossu-Longin, which assembles interviews with witnesses and actual victims, and testimonials to the horrors of prisons, forced labour concentration camps, Romanian Securitate’s repressive actions during the communist period, as well as to the atrocities suffered by those suspected of acting against the regime, especially intellectuals. Studies have estimated that two million Romanians were victims of the communist regime, experiencing deportation, confinement to political psychiatric asylums, killings in camps and prisons, imprisonment of war, etc. The present article focuses on the discourse of trauma, while attempting to foreground recurring themes in a set of six, randomly chosen episodes. Moreover, it aims at highlighting linguistic mediation (or the process whereby emotions, traumas, suffering are transferred into discourse) and the associated strategies and symbols which support it. Since emphasis on sociolinguistic topics such as conflict, violence, suffering, traumatic experiences, survivors (frequently taking shape through symbols) is deemed necessary in analyzing mediation (equally viewed as the dialectics between the singular and the collective), the article will look into their representation also.
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