The politics of identity, trauma, memory and decolonisation in Neill Blomkamp’s Chappie (2015)

Authored by: Beschara Karam

Routledge Handbook of African Media and Communication Studies

Print publication date:  February  2021
Online publication date:  February  2021

Print ISBN: 9781138574779
eBook ISBN: 9781351273206
Adobe ISBN:


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The aim of this research is look at the South African context as represented in the film and to argue that Chappie’s “identity” is not only formed from his presentist, experiential context (born into criminal violence) of his individual traumas but also from his inherited trauma. A trauma which Ron Eyerman terms a collective “tear in the social fabric” or a “societal wound” (2004, 4). Which, in this particular case, is that of apartheid and colonial traumas.

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