Era of the Witness

Forensic Architecture

When the literary critic Shoshana Felman and the psychoanalyst Dori Laub referred to the last decades of the twentieth century as “the era of the testimony,” and when the historian Annette Wieviorka referred to it as “the era of the witness,” they were attempting to describe a period in which the written, recorded, filmed, and exhibited testimony of the Holocaust structured our understanding of the problems of the present. Holocaust, trauma, and memory studies have made testimony into a significant force in postmodern culture. Engagement with testimony has left its mark in literature, documentary, and the visual arts. Politically, testimony has acquired a visible presence in such varied contexts as truth commissions, human rights theories, and humanitarian work.

Comments are closed.