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  • Writer's pictureRafael Benz

The Angles of Trauma

How recent trauma research is allowing a new approach to dealing with past events in history that affected millions. An approach beyond decolonialization.

Trauma refers to any event or experience that causes physical, emotional, or psychological harm. It is a response to a traumatic event that is often characterized by feelings of fear, helplessness, and powerlessness. Trauma can come in many forms and can have long-lasting effects on a person's mental and physical health.

One type of trauma is cultural trauma, which occurs when a group of people experiences a significant and profound loss or disruption of their cultural identity. Cultural trauma can happen as a result of colonization, enslavement, genocide, or other forms of oppression and exploitation. It can lead to a loss of traditions, language, and cultural practices, and can have a profound impact on the collective memory and identity of a community.

Another type of trauma is family trauma, which occurs when a person experiences trauma within the context of their family. This can include physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, neglect, or witnessing violence. Family trauma can have a profound impact on a person's sense of self, relationships, and ability to trust others.


In the book "The Body Keeps the Score" by Bessel van der Kolk, the author explores the ways in which trauma affects the body and the mind. He argues that trauma can lead to a wide range of physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms, including anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. The author also discusses how trauma can be passed down from generation to generation and the importance of addressing it in order to heal and move forward. Bessel van der Kolk also brings up the 3 origins of trauma: Culture, religion and family. Some cultures, such as those on the African continent, have suffered from a variety of trauma due to history. For example, the transatlantic slave trade, colonization, and apartheid have all contributed to the cultural trauma experienced by many African communities. These events have resulted in the loss of land, language, and cultural practices, and have also led to ongoing economic and political struggles. As a result, many African communities continue to experience the effects of cultural trauma, including feelings of disconnection, anger, and frustration. The religion trauma and the trauma of disrupted family structures brought by missionaries from different regions and religions over a long period of time are still very dominant today and add to the complexity of the situation.


In conclusion, trauma can take many forms and angles, including cultural, religios and family trauma and many more. Understanding the impact of trauma on the body and mind is essential for healing and moving forward. Addressing the effects of trauma in a cultural context is especially important, as it can help to address the root causes of ongoing struggles and promote healing and resilience. It can be hoped that the global societies are incorporating the latest discoveries of trauma research into international politics.


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written by Rafael Benz & GPT Chat on 11 Feb 2023


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