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Atonement

  • Stephen FroshEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Studies in the Psychosocial book series (STIP)

Abstract

Another kind of solidarity beckons, having to do with the possibility of communicating with others simply by virtue of ‘breathing the same air,’ as Gobodo-Madikizela (2016, p. 21) puts it. As discussed in Chap.  4, Gobodo-Madikizela’s phrase references an attitude towards recognition and acknowledgement that allows perpetrators and victims, and those who come after them, to escape the seemingly impossible demands of forgiveness and instead focus on their shared experience – and their responsibility – in order to find ways of being with each other, whatever shadows may still lie across them from the past. This shared experience can be seen as a version of the ‘third’, in which the damage and pain on both sides is externalised and pooled in another place so that each protagonist can then engage with this third space, which holds all that pain together. We breathe the same air, we cohabit the same Earth; what links us is what we need to understand, what we have together is what we can draw on to move forwards.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychosocial Studies BirkbeckUniversity of LondonLondonUK

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