- The Oxford Handbook of Oral History
- Introduction: The Evolution of Oral History
- The Dynamics of Interviewing
- Those Who Prevailed and Those Who Were Replaced: Interviewing on Both Sides of a Conflict
- Interviewing in Cross-Cultural Settings
- Case Study: Oral History and Democracy: Lessons from Illiterates
- Memory and Remembering in Oral History
- Can Memory Be Collective?
- Case Study: Rome's House of Memory and History: The Politics of Memory and Public Institutions
- How Does One Win a Lost War? Oral History and Political Memories
- Disappointed Remains: Trauma, Testimony, and Reconciliation in Post-apartheid South Africa
- Case Study: Memory Work with Children Affected by HIV/AIDS in South Africa
- The Stages of Women's Oral History
- Race and Oral History
- Remembering in Later Life: Generating Individual and Social Change
- The Proust Effect: Oral History and the Senses
- After Action: Oral History and War
- Case Study: “Above all, we need the WITNESS”: The Oral History of Holocaust Survivor
- Case Study: Field Notes on Catastrophe: Reflections on the September 11, 2001, Oral History Memory and Narrative Project
- Doing Video Oral History
- Case Study: Opening Up Memory Space: The Challenges of Audiovisual History
- Achieving the Promise of Oral History in a Digital Age
- Oral History: Media, Message, and Meaning
- Messiah with the Microphone? Oral Historians, Technology, and Sound Archives
- Case Study: Between the Raw and the Cooked in Oral History: Notes from the Kitchen
- The Legal Ramifications of Oral History
- Ethical Challenges in the Oral History of Medicine
- The Archival Imperative: Can Oral History Survive the Funding Crisis in Archival Institutions?
- Case Study: The Southern Oral History Program
- Case Study: What is it That University-Based Oral History Can Do? The Berkeley Experience
- Toward a Public Oral History
- Motivating the Twenty-first-Century Student with Oral History
- Oral History in Universities: From Margins to Mainstream
- Case Study: Engaging Interpretation Through Digital Technologies
- Oral History in the Digital Age
Abstract and Keywords
The apartheid regime in South Africa and the fight against the same, followed by the reconciliation is the crux of this article. The first democratic elections held on April 27, 1994, were surprisingly free of violence. Then, in one of its first pieces of legislation, the new democratic parliament passed the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act of 1995, which created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. At the outset, the South African TRC promised to “uncover the truth” about past atrocities, and forge reconciliation across a divided country. As oral historians, we should consider the oral testimonies that were given at the Human Rights Victim hearings and reflect on the reconciliation process and what it means to ask trauma survivors to forgive and reconcile with perpetrators. This article cites several real life examples to explain the trauma and testimony of apartheid and post-apartheid Africa with a hint on the still prevailing disappointments and blurred memories.
Sean Field is senior lecturer in the Historical Studies Department and the director of the Center for Popular Memory, a training, research, and archiving center committed to the dissemination of marginalized people's stories, at the University of Cape Town. His research interests include the traumatic, emotional, and visual aspects of popular memories of the apartheid and post-apartheid eras in South Africa, and the genocide in Rwanda.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.