Psychoanalysis and Colonialism: The Ethic(s) of Bearing Witness

Psychoanalysis and Colonialism: The Ethic(s) of Bearing Witness

26 and 27 April 2024 (in person and hybrid)

Conference on Psychoanalysis and Colonialism: The Ethic(s) of Bearing Witness with screening and discussion of Secrets from Putumayo – with special guests Stephen Rea and Brazilian Ambassador to Ireland.

Event Details

  • Date & Time: Fri, 26 Apr 2024 3:30pm – 6pm: Sat, 27 Apr 2024 10am – 6:30pm
  • Location: DCU St. Patrick’s Campus, Drumcondra Road Upper, Dublin 9 & Irish Film Institute, 6 Eustace Street, Dublin 2 D02 PD85
  • Cost: €10 – €70 #EarlyBirdDiscount #2For1Deal
  • Tickets via Eventbrite
  • By The Irish Psychoanalytic Film Forum

About This Event

  • 1 day 3 hours
  • Please note the event takes place in two different venues. Friday is the screening of Secrets from Putumayo in the Irish Film Institute. Saturday is St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra.
  • Saturday is a hybrid event and tickets for Zoom attendance are available. The in-person ticket includes lunch.
  • Friday is not hybrid but in person only.
  • Places are limited
  • 10 CPD points awarded

This two-day event interrogates the relationship between psychoanalysis and colonialism within the context generated by the film The Secrets from Putumayo – a Brazilian documentary revealing Roger Casement’s role in witnessing and documenting the atrocities committed against the native people in the Amazon.

The event is interdisciplinary and includes speakers and scholars from the fields of psychoanalysis, history, film, and Latin American studies. In particular, we question the effects of bearing witness to difficult/tragic and painful events and the variety of potential responses available to the human subject, ranging from denial to revolution.

This ethic(s) of bearing witness is also related to the medium of film. We argue that certain films call us to action or ask us to bear something through the act of watching, through being present to a ‘reality’ we may not ordinarily encounter. Furthermore, we ask whether psychoanalysis has historically contributed to outdated and biased notions of the unknown and uncivilised and how it may be relevant today to the task and discourse of decolonisation.

On Friday evening’s discussion, we are delighted to include among distinguished guests the Ambassador to the Embassy of Brazil, Marcel Biato.


Angus Mitchell

Laura Izarra

Alan Gilsenan

Mariana Bolfarine

Michael O’Loughlin

Barbara Fitzgerald

Geraldine McLoughlin

Jones Irwin, Luke Gibbons, Paula Salvio, Sally Swartz

Jane Ohlmeyer

John O’Donoghue


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