When addressing trauma, one concept that pops up immediately is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD describes a mental state, a mental disruption that a person can develop after having been exposed to a single acute traumatic event e.g. an accident, experience a single natural disaster, physical assault, etc. It is a concept which is very broadly recognized, especially in Western psychiatric and medical care. But what happens when a traumatic experience is not so clear-cut? How to complicate the notion of trauma?

María do Mar Castro Varela and Aïcha Diallo invited researcher, writer, educator and cultural producer Ferdiansyah Thajib to share some ideas, narratives and songs related to lived experiences in the context of collective violence. The hour-long conversation gives some insight into aspects of Indonesia’s recent history, the notion of endurance, collective strategies, and artistic interventions.

Ferdiansyah Thajib is a member of KUNCI Cultural Studies Center, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. KUNCI is a research collective which focuses on critical knowledge production and sharing through cross-disciplinary encounter, action-research and vernacular education with and across community spaces. Thajib is a Phd Candidate at the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, Free Universität Berlin. His work is situated in the intersections of theory and praxis, with specific research interests on queer modes of endurance and forms of affective entanglement in everyday life.

A Lover’s War is jointly created and directed by María do Mar Castro Varela & Aïcha Diallo. This interview series is an inquiry on the direct and indirect links between conflict, (re-)traumatization, resistance and resilience.

The conversation with Ferdiansyah Thajib is part of the platform Caring for Conflict curated by DISTRICT Berlin and Institute for Queer Theory.