Masterclass - Trauma and war: Ending the silence

Oct. 27, 2020


Vader met zijn kinderen lopend door een vluchtelingenkamp
Life in the midst of violence and armed conflict results in a dark legacy of psychological suffering - a legacy that is passed down through generations. Research into the intergenerational transmission of trauma is increasing - yet there is little consensus on its causes and manifestations. So how can we end the silence - and better understand the social, genetic and psychological drivers behind the transmission of trauma?

These issues will be explored in the next War Child Masterclass where we will be joined by Dr Ria Reis - professor of medical anthropology at Leiden University and Honorary Professor at the Children’s Institute of the School of Child and Adolescent Health at the University of Cape Town - and leading cultural anthropologist Dr Lidewyde Berckmoes.

Dr Reis’s graduate work in cultural anthropology focused on Tibetan Buddhism in Ladakh, however her doctoral research took her to medical anthropology, neuropsychiatry and Africa. She lived in Swaziland from 1985-88, investigating traditional healing and the epilepsy treatment gap and in the 90s, focused on epilepsy, chronic illness and disability. Over the past 20 years, her research, and that of her many doctoral students, has shifted to the intergenerational transmission of vulnerabilities in contexts of inequality and (post)conflict, and young people’s health perceptions, strategies and resilience.

Lidewyde Berckmoes_Ria Reis_Masterclass_War Child

Professor of Medical Anthropology Dr. Ria Reis and Cultural Anthropologist Dr. Lidewyde Berckmoes

Adriaan van Dis_schrijver_masterclass voor War Child

Adriaan van Dis shares how the wartrauma of his parents effected his upbringing.

Photo: Annaleen Louwes

This Masterclass event forms part of our ‘Ending the Silence’ campaign. The campaign marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War with a call for the world to increase psychosocial support for children living with the effects of violence and armed conflict - support denied to children in 1945.

This Masterclass will be in English and we will discuss in depth about the subject matter, with break out group sessions. If you are interested in the Dutch Masterclass with leading Dutch author and television presenter Adriaan van Dis, please sign up here. Adriaan will share his personal experiences of growing up with the dark legacy of trauma - and how these experiences have affected him today. (Please note that this section of the program will be in Dutch - all other sessions will be conducted in English).

How, what, where?

Date: Tuesday October 27, 2020*
Location: Online**

*This Masterclass was originally scheduled for April 21.
**Because Covid-19 this event will be held online. We will host the event in our own 'Playground', but we unfortunately won't be able to invite visitors to this location.

Sign up for the Masterclass below

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Thank you for registering for the masterclass. We will inform you about the program and final location in the coming weeks. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact War Child at or call +31 (0)20 422 77 77