How hard it is not to retype the entire book and post it here, since I think anyone who is interested in truth, justice, and reconciliation for families that have been separated should read this amazing book. But we don’t want to violate the rights of authors by circulating their work for free… So, please run out and buy this simply amazing, wonderful, and inspiring book by Rita Arditti.
Here’s just one short quote that spoke to me as those of us in Seoul are preparing to unleash, perhaps within a month, something for the history books (stay tuned for that!)
The concept of “psychosocial trauma” developed by Ignacio Martin-Baro can help us understand the restitution process. He believed that when an injury that affects people has been produced, nourished, and maintained through a certain set of social relations, then individual solutions are not effective. The social context responsible for the injury has to be taken into account. A new “social contract” to heal the trauma is needed, incorporating individual and sociopolitcal factors into the equation. In the case of the disappeared children, their loss of identity represents a trauma affecting not only their individual lives but also their relationship with society. For this relationship to be restored, the social distortions that took place need to be exposed. Restitution brings into focus the trauma’s social dimension, as it it provides the wider context for each individual story. Truth and justice must be part of the picture, if the children are to construct a meaningful future for themselves as individuals and as members of society.