Went to a dim sum lunch for Grandma Liu Mian Huan, a “Comfort Woman” survivor from the Japanese occupation of China during WWII. There’s an extraordinary movement afoot to demand restitution from the Japanese government. Heard much testimony– from Grandma Liu herself, and on video, from both soldiers and victims. Today, thinking much about the use of testimony. Politically it makes sense. And psychically, for the individual in question? Psychoanalysis would say moves the subject out of repression, into mourning, or “working through.” In relationship to the survivors– the women– that makes sense to me. But one of the testemonials was from a former solider, recounting what he and his compatriots did. When is the articulation a reproduction of the violence, and when is it “working through”? What if it is both?
In the evening, wonderful readings and discussion from both Wayde Compton and Lee Maracle for the Play Chthonics series. Wayde read from a short story about mixed-race conjoined twins attempting to understand their father’s history. Lee read from Daughters. Lots of discussion about writing, the confluence of history, biomythography and a double-headed snake.