Keats, Patrice A. “Vicarious Witnessing in European Concentration Camps: Imagining the Trauma of Another.” Traumatology11, no. 3 (2005): 171-87. doi:10.1177/153476560501100303.
Keats discusses the differences in firsthand witnessing and vicarious witnessing perspectives—defining vicarious witnessing as a perspective of others that instigates a sense of social responsibility along with activity, awareness, and empowerment. She performed a study in which groups of adults visited places of trauma (including the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp). She interviewed participants before and after entering the concentration camp and collected personal journals about the participants’ experiences. Participants took pictures of things they couldn’t put words to. This produced three different mediums of narrative perspectives in written, spoken, and visual form. Through her experiment, Keats intended to do the following: “(a) understand the personal and social conditions that structure vicarious witnessing, (b) seek features that support a safe vicarious witnessing experience, and (c) explore the process of how witnesses constructed meaning in their narratives about vicariously witnessing the trauma event” (176). In her studies, she came to conclusions as to the nature of specific narratives and describes participants perspectives and emotional experiences within the camp.