An Introduction to Shame

Stichting Perdu - Introductie_schaamte
21 Dec at 20:00 | Begins at 20:00 (doors open 19:30). Event language: Dutch. Tickets: Regular €13.50, Student €11, Livestream €9.

Evening programme moderated by Koen Hilberdink:

The phenomenology of shame by Prof Dr Frans Schalkwijk
Shame is an emotion that is very physical; you buckle your knees, you turn red, your heart beats, a hole unfolds in your stomach, you want to sink through the floor and sometimes die and never be there again. Shame in itself is a “normal” social emotion that arises in childhood. Sometimes even before there are words. It is also true that shame does not have to be recognised: you can feel shame without knowing it is about shame. In some cases, shame becomes chronic and fills the whole sense of self: then we speak of toxic shame. Then you feel no shame. You are zero, nothing, inferior. What causes this will be discussed.

Toxic shame after abuse by Nelleke Nicolai
Of course a mild conscience is nice, then shame passes. In therapeutic practice, we regularly see people plagued by shame as a character trait. Nelleke Nicolai outlines her experience with traumatised people after sexual abuse and how shame can become toxic. It is then an emotion that attacks identity at its roots: I am a bad person. The shame then turns into physical reactions and movement patterns and is subjectively no longer felt as shame, but as guilt.

With poetry and dance by sisters Rosa and Donna Braber.

About the guest speakers

Prof. Frans Schalkwijk is associate professor of conscience development at the University of Amsterdam. Most of the week he works as a psychotherapist/psychoanalyst in his own practice. He is a lecturer in several postmaster courses and author of popular science books such as Imperfectly Satisfied. Dealing with your inner critic (2016) and Narcissism (2018).

Nelleke Nicolai was a psychiatrist, psychotherapist, and psychoanalyst. She was a supervisor and lecturer at several training courses mainly on trauma and attachment. Her books include Empathy (2016), Emotion regulation, the art of balance (2016), and In the flesh: the body in psychotherapy (2020).

Donna Braber (1996, NL) graduated from Codarts, University of the Arts and works as a dancer, maker and teacher in Rotterdam and Vienna. In 2019, she created the performance ‘Planet Sis’ with her sister Rosa Braber (actor, writer and theatre maker) in co-production with theatre house Dschungel Wien in Vienna. This performance was nominated for the Stella Award 2020 (similar to the ‘Gouden Krekel’ known in the Netherlands). After this success, together they founded the theatre collective: ‘Wolf Collective’ (based in Vienna) and produced several performances playing in theatres and festivals. In her work, Donna explores the fusion of different art disciplines and new encounters between creators. This creates new (art) forms that together create a new world.

Rosa Braber (1989, NL) graduated from the Toneelacademie Maastricht’s performance course in 2012. She creates performances and has worked with various theatre and performance groups in the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria. In 2013, she published her first book of poetry and read her poems at literary festivals. In the same year, she moved to Vienna, where she still lives and works. From 2015 to 2020, she was part of the Bernhard Ensemble. In summer 2019, she worked as poet in residence at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht. In 2019, together with her sister Donna, she created the performance Planet Sis at theatre house Dschungel Wien, which was nominated for a Stella Award. Rosa in the 2023/2024 season working as a director at the Wiener Konzerthaus. Next autumn, she will bite into Dennis Kelly’s monologue Girls & Boys, which she will perform at Vienna’s Theater am Werk.