Sea passages: trauma, Arendtian thinking and what dialogues with art can do

Susannah Radstone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This essay explores Alex Seton’s artwork Someone died trying to have a life like mine in terms of its initiation and sustaining of a dialogue with gallery visitors. Focused on the moving qualities of this dialogue as well as on its ethics, and starting out from approaches developed within memory and trauma research, the essay discusses Someone died’s relations with witnessing, testimony, trauma and memory trails. Having concluded that certain aspects of the dialogue between Someone died and its visitors remain outside the terms of these approaches, the essay concludes by shifting its terms to consider how Hannah Arendt’s writings on thought might illuminate how artworks–and Seton’s Someone died in particular–work and what it means to be ‘moved’.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)648-659
Number of pages12
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Memory
  • Dialogue
  • Art
  • Trauma

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