(Extended Essay) M.A.L.S.
This essay deals with the transmission and reception of trauma inspired communication. Considering Art Spiegelman’s, Maus as a creation inspired by trauma and as Holocaust testimony I reflect on the notion of suffering as an axis between isolation and community, identity and annihilation, silence and creation; the repercussions of recognizing the pain of another; the impact of this recognition on the identity of the witness, and; the role of the created object in the communication of pain. Using the memorial in CRAB Park as a focal point, this essay explores the values and assumptions that lie beneath the dominant construction of the notion of ‘other’ as it pertains to residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. I investigate the ways in which this community is perceived by those who call it home contrasted with those who live outside it, and how these assessments inform and enforce reality within its borders.
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