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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Children and Trauma: Unexpected Resistance and Justice in Film and Drawings

Department of Spanish & Portuguese, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1532, USA
Humanities 2018, 7(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7010019
Received: 22 November 2017 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 14 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wounded: Studies in Literary and Cinematic Trauma)
This transnational study examines representations of and by children—whether literal wounds, psychological ones, or wounds transmitted through drawings—that manifest their capacity for unexpected resistance and justice. It considers the Mexican-American director Guillermo del Toro’s use of hauntings and wounds to explore violence during the 1936–1939 Spanish Civil War in the film El espinazo del diablo [The Devil’s Backbone] (2001) and its intersections on strategic and theoretical levels with the traumatic in archival children’s drawings produced during the 1976–1983 Argentine military dictatorship. The drawings illustrate the violence perpetrated against the child artists’ families and were produced in exile for the human rights organization COSOFAM. Utilizing diverse theories from film and trauma studies, among others, this article analyzes key scenes in El espinazo exhibiting commonalities with representations of traumatic violence in the children’s drawings, revealing that, in fiction and in fact, a strategic “showing” of the traumatic wound is designed to remind others of the imperative to intervene in situations of extreme violence, to appeal to/for justice, and to effectively testify from the inside. View Full-Text
Keywords: film; archival drawings; human rights; representations of traumatic violence; children; transnational film; archival drawings; human rights; representations of traumatic violence; children; transnational
MDPI and ACS Style

Robinson, C.M. Children and Trauma: Unexpected Resistance and Justice in Film and Drawings. Humanities 2018, 7, 19.

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