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Race, Place and Self in the experience of a bystander

Dr Tessa Philips

My presentation is in three parts. In the first I introduce myself and my work. In the second I present a vignette set during apartheid. It is a story from 1970, taken from the first interview for my thesis. When I heard it I realised it illustrated the multi-layered themes in relation to bystanding. In particular it showed how bystanders, often referred to as innocent, could feel so bad. It became the platform for my thesis and will be the platform for this talk today. I show how memory, politics, context come together and influence what is known and not-known, what is valued and not valued. I provide background showing how the system of apartheid was represented in the microcosm of everyday lives. In the third part I weave personal material into the epilogue and conclusion, My work on race grew from the realisation that my young life in apartheid South Africa was impacting on my role as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in Sydney. Other ex-South African analysts have examined the effect of growing up in that environment on their therapeutic work. In this paper I continue to deconstruct the impact of a South African past.

ANZAP- Australia & New Zealand Association of Psychotherapy 
22nd Annual Conference : Conversation on Dreaming
Recorded: 2-5 September 2010. Sydney, Australia.

Tessa Philips
Tessa Philips
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Dr Tessa Philips

Dr Tessa Philips practices as a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist in Bondi Junction, NSW, Australia . She is on the faculty of the Sydney University Master of Medicine and Master of Science Psychotherapy Program and on the faculty of ANZAP. Tessa is a member of the Board of Directors of IARPP and is a council member of IAPSP. She has published papers locally and presented papers locally and internationally, and teaches and supervises. Her PhD thesis, Race, Place and Self, was awarded the Isi Liebler Prize at Deakin University. The Prize is awarded for the PhD thesis which best contributes to advancing knowledge of racial, religious or ethnic prejudice in any time or place, or advancing knowledge of multiculturalism and community relations in Australia.

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