Love at Last Sight: Port Arthur and the Afterlife of Trauma

Maria Tumarkin


We all know so many words by now—genocide, death, slaughter, horror, unthinkable loss, limits of human depravity ... For all their unsettling qualities, their ability to wound and provoke, these words are deeply familiar, part of the language we have come to speak. Yet in the world of material objects and sites marked by violence and loss, there exist things and places, which, as Kyo Maclear once wrote, ‘have irretrievable counterparts in those experiences for which no records whatsoever exist, those losses precluded from thought or direct remembrance’. Broad Arrow cafe was my entry point into the world where the events of 28 April 1996 and their extended aftermath existed in forms radically separate from the words and opinions, from the pained and waning recollections, of the day.


Broad Arrow Cafe; Martin Bryant; Tasmania; Port Arthur; trauma

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