The microcosms of violence

Abstract: Acts of violence are often studied as facts, not as cultural and symbolic expressions. Within this article, the author will shed light on another dimension; explaining how a personal experience of unprovoked assault changed the author's scholarly vision of the intrusive nature of violence, as well as how violence influences the subjective perception of victims. He will show that during that moment of violence, all cultural meaning unravels and the social imagery of the perpetrator is internalised by those that are victimised. The aim of this article is twofold: a) that the specificity of violence needs very specific attention in terms of intervention and rehabilitation, and b) that objectification, especially during genocide, but also other war crimes, provides a key role as to how violence is experienced. Further, the author shows that violence is an intrusive act, where the will of the perpetrator is forced to become the will of the victim.

Holslag, Anthonie