Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Women: A Cultural Review


Taylor & Francis


School of Arts and Humanities


Edith Cowan University


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in WOMEN: A CULTURAL REVIEW on 17/05/2021, available online:

Adji, A. N. (2021). Communicating fragmented memories: Explorations of trauma as autoethnographic bridges. Women: A Cultural Review, 32(2), 181-197.


Through an experience of reading, researching and interacting with people with different cultural backgrounds in academia, I explore autoethnographically how my personal experience can offer a way to contemplate connections and disassociations of cultural memory in relation to the May 1998 Riots of Indonesia. I attempt to show how disruptive events can bring the traumatic memories back into current consciousness both within individual lives and in the challenges that Jakarta as a city has in coming to terms with the dead and raped bodies that were the result of the country’s denial of its practices of violence. Disturbing memories emerge as cities deal with perturbing events that destroy their image as multicultural cities. Moving across the boundaries of generations, timeframes, and space that connect fragmented memories embodied in selected literary works, I aim to explore different ways in which denial can bring back fragmented memories and a need to ‘come to terms’ with such traumatic histories. I also explore how the May 1998 Riots memory has been dynamically shaped through the adoption of traumascapes in literature, and how questions of re/membering mass rape and violence have affected the creative writing practice.