After the End

by Cara Ow

How do we speak of our pain without inflicting violence upon ourselves again? In the #MeToo era, sexual assault survivors are surrounded by the relentless broadcast of trauma stories daily. We are trapped by the pain we see on TV, and haunted by our own at night. It is almost impossible to speak out when what is expected of a “believable story” is a blow-by-blow account of the sequence of events, the small, minute details, the clothes we were wearing.

This zine explores the language of trauma, how it frustrates the linear story expected of survivors in speaking out. Much like the rest of our lives after the event/s, the future of our narratives is messy and difficult. However, in losing the ability to speak straight, we encounter the language of repetition, the language of saturated colour, the language of new expression. Each of these allow us to move forward by cushioning ourselves against the harshness of a stark story of pain, and in embracing the uncertainty of the path ahead, we might just touch a kind of freedom.

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Cara Ow is tired of things not killing them and only making them stronger. An experimental poet from Singapore, their works on trauma and identity have appeared in Math Paper Press’ My Lot Is A Sky, Exactly Foundations’ Entah, Tak Tahu, Tiger Moth Review’s Issue 3 and Egg Box Publishing’s Undertone and Underline.