Paper short abstract:
This paper is interested in the ways the traumatic experience of a terror attack shapes individual and collective lives. Specifically, through acts of storytelling I seek to understand how participants have struggled to regain a sense of agency.
Paper long abstract:
In this paper I will explore how an act of terrorism affects the everyday lives of ordinary people. I will describe some of the ways in which the participants in this study have struggled to regain a sense of self/agency after the traumatic experience of a terror attack. I will also outline some of the theoretical and methodological approaches I have undertaken in order to understand these experiences. Specifically, I use storytelling, everyday ethics and collaborative ethnography to enable the co-creation of emergent knowledge on the struggle to live ethical, or hopeful, lives after experiencing trauma. I do not seek to describe trauma as a medical condition; rather I view it, as Tumarkin (2005) describes, as an individual/collective response to suffering. I have spoken with six people all of whom have varying experiences of the 2001 New York, 2002 Bali and/or 2005 London terror attacks.
Trauma subjectivities - the experience and imaginaries of suffering in the 21st century