Filipino migrant stories and trauma in the transnational field

Elsevier, Emotion, Space and Society, august 2017
Authors: 
Geraldine Pratt, Caleb Johnston, Vanessa Banta

Abstract

We put to work recent efforts to decolonise trauma theory in the context of our experience of writing and performing in the Philippines our testimonial theatre play about Canada's Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP). The play, a collection of monologues based on verbatim scholarly research transcripts, was performed in Manila in November 2013 and October 2014, first as professional and then community theatre. We think through what it means to move a trauma narrative about family separation from Vancouver to Manila, both in terms of the reception of Canadian-based trauma and how it works in relation to traumas based in the Philippines. As a contribution to the geographies of trauma, we consider efforts to think what it would mean to decolonise trauma studies, and examine how trauma narratives gather other narratives as they travel, the politics of scholars from the Global North soliciting and circulating trauma narratives in the Global South, and the possibilities of building collective politics through individual stories of trauma.