Letter from the IAAP Officers

The following letter comes to you from the IAAP Officers after their meeting in Cape Town.

International Association for Analytical Psychology
Internationale Gesellschaft für Analytische Psychologie
Association Internationale de Psychologie Analytique
Associazione Internazionale di Psicologia Analitica
Asociación Internacional de Psicología Analítica

September 2006


A message from the Officers.
In less than one year, our next Congress will be held in Cape Town. In order to get acquainted with the location, to make decisions about the venue, and especially to meet in person our South African colleagues, who are passionately and actively involved in its organization, we considered it important that the regular Officers’ summer meeting take place in South Africa.

We stayed in Cape Town for several days, devoting much of the time to our busy agenda, but also, whenever possible, to discovering and exploring various facets of the city and to meeting people. From the moment of our arrival, our first experiences and impressions were very positive. The city of Cape Town is very impressive with Table Mountain towering over the city in a commanding yet also containing manner, surrounded by the sea, all the more impressive since the city, as its name indicates, is at the southern tip of the continent.

The sky was often a crisp, clear blue, changing abruptly to clouds announcing rain, then suddenly a radiant sun emerged bringing warmth and delight.  While we were there during the southern Winter season,  at the time of the Congress, it will be closer to Spring.

We had a lengthy visit at the Convention Center, the venue for our next Congress. The Convention Center is a modern building located in a lively part of Cape Town with a luminous interior which opens onto the city and the mountain giving one the sense of being outdoors.  Escalators in the center allow for rapid and smooth circulation between floors.  The large room reserved for plenary sessions, work meetings, and for the Delegates’ Meeting is on the ground floor. It is comfortable, welcoming, has good acoustics and is equipped with everything required for simultaneous translation. Workshops and break-out sessions will take place in meeting rooms on the first level.

During the Congress, the ground floor will house the reception and registration desk,  a book store, a small crafts market, space for posters, and a food counter. The Convention Center also has a restaurant as well as several dining spaces.

In the immediate vicinity or close to the Convention Center, there are a number of hotels within walking distance ranging from affordable to quite comfortable to five star luxurious.  The Sheraton Arabella Hotel is directly connected to the Convention Center.

In less than 15 minutes you can walk in complete safety to the “Waterfront,” a lively area with cafés and restaurants, each one more different and interesting than the other, where you can eat and drink for quite a bit less than it would cost in cities like Paris, London, Boston or Montreal.

While working assiduously on the many questions raised by the governing of IAAP,  financial questions, good institutional functioning, development…, we also took the opportunity to discover different aspects of this fascinating country given its history and recent transformations.  We visited the infamous Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 19 years and where he was able to develop and deepen, in sometimes very arduous conditions, his understanding of political process hence grounding the authority he subsequently demonstrated as a statesman. You too will be able to make this impressive and perturbing visit to Robben Island since it is close to Cape Town and only a half-hour trip by boat from the “Water Front.”

On the subject of apartheid, we had the opportunity to see a theatre presentation written in the 1970s by the South African, Athol Fugard , called  “Sizwe Bansi is Dead”.  It illustrated with emotion and surprising humor – humor one of our group members compared to Jewish humor – the harrowing everyday conditions and the fate of two blacks under the apartheid regime. The play was shown in a large room in the main theatre of Cape Town and played to full capacity, filled with blacks and whites, seemingly from all social classes and different religions. In sharing a performance that captivated the audience’s attention and elicited strong emotional reactions, we were impressed by this country’s capacity to revisit and reconsider its past – barely 12 years after the end of apartheid.  

Again with the Congress in mind, we visited a site of rock art paintings which you will also be able to visit since it is only an hour and a half from Cape Town. This trip allowed us to discover a diverse and awesome countryside in this exceptional country full of natural resources. You may already be aware that several Congress working sessions will be devoted to the discovery and interpretation of the rock art of the South African San people or “Bushmen” as well as to other pre-historic art. Other sessions will present us the opportunity to compare our clinical work with the practices of traditional healers.

Many other sites of interest and day tours will be available to ensure a fulfilling experience both during the Congress sessions and in our free time.  The attached letter from Astrid Berg, Chair of the local Organizing Committee, will provide you with more information on possible day trips and excursions.

In a second attached letter from Joe Cambray, Chair of the Program Committee, you will find more detailed information on the program of the Congress which will include panels, workshops and other working meetings following the plenary sessions.

We will, in addition, all have to prepare for the Delegates’ Meeting, which traditionally and constitutionally takes place during the Congress.  To prepare for the Delegates’ Meeting, the Council of Societies will convene on February 9th, 2007, in Zurich.   Here your representatives will have the opportunity to discuss among themselves and with the Officers and members of the Executive Committee items on the agenda for the Cape Town Congress.  The representatives will then report back to you.

The Program Committee, under the chairmanship of Joe Cambray, the local Organizing Committee, under the chairmanship of Astrid Berg, and we, the Officers, are working ardently to prepare the upcoming Congress.  We look forward to the pleasure of seeing you at this Congress, an event that promises to be memorable.

On my behalf and that of the Officers, our very best wishes,

Prof. Dr. Christian Gaillard
President, IAAP

Hester Solomon, President-Elect, IAAP
Astrid Berg, Vice-President, IAAP
Joe Cambray, Vice-President, IAAP
Tom Kelly, Honorary Secretary, IAAP