Aboriginal Australian Autobiographies of Postmemory and Trauma in Wesley Enoch’s Black Medea and The 7 Stages of Grieving

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 7-1-2022


This paper examines through Marianne Hirsch’s theory of postmemory and trauma two performance texts by Aboriginal Australian playwright and theatre director Wesley Enoch. This critical theoretical approach argues that in the absence of reliable historical records, the autobiographical structure of Black Medea (2007) and The 7 Stages of Grieving (1996) positions them as individual as well as collective postmemory and trauma accounts. The paper further argues that the use of silence, gestures, storytelling, and theatre serve as vital tools for documenting the generational continuum of the traumatic Aborigine experiences and the struggle in dealing with the inherited burden of intergenerational trauma.