The Many Faces of Trauma

By Dr George Halasz

Posted on 10 November, 2017 under Holocaust, Media, Psychiatry, Trauma, Video

Out of sight, In plain view 

The precious moment trauma is transmitted is fascinatingly hard to pin down.

However, the moment after, often referred to as the shadow of the moment, or as Phillip Bromberg’s poetic title ‘The Shadow of the Tsunami’ sets out to capture, once the damage is done, so to speak, to leave no doubt. He explains the aftermath. It is there for all to see. Not so for the actual moment of transfer of trauma itself. It is for good reason we cannot register.

My research quest was to capture the moment of transformation, to capture and to translate the invisible process by putting it in plain view.

I captured on video ‘split screen’ images of myself with my mother as she gave her Holocaust testimony (See Halasz, 2001, 2012, 2017) I hoped this method could proved some insights, a way to be come to know and to come to terms with my and our moments of relational trauma.

I wanted to draw attention to our faces, hence the title, to detail the moment to moment exchanges that took place both within me, as expressed and reflected in my facial expressions, as well as to highlight my response to what was taking place as my mother’s testimony unfolded, detailing her own extreme moments of traumatic events.

At the start of my research project I had little idea of what processes would be revealed in the coming decades…

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