Bodies of Truth

Law, Memory, and Emancipation in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Author: Rita Kesselring

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 0804799830

Category: Social Science

Page: 272

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Bodies of Truth offers an intimate account of how apartheid victims deal with the long-term effects of violence, focusing on the intertwined themes of embodiment, injury, victimhood, and memory. In 2002, victims of apartheid-era violence filed suit against multinational corporations, accusing them of aiding and abetting the security forces of the apartheid regime. While the litigation made its way through the U.S. courts, thousands of victims of gross human rights violations have had to cope with painful memories of violence. They have also confronted an official discourse claiming that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of the 1990s sufficiently addressed past injuries. This book shows victims' attempts to emancipate from their experiences by participating in legal actions, but also by creating new forms of sociality among themselves and in relation to broader South African society. Rita Kesselring's ethnography draws on long-term research with members of the victim support group Khulumani and critical analysis of legal proceedings related to apartheid-era injury. Using juridical intervention as an entry point into the question of subjectivity, Kesselring asks how victimhood is experienced in the everyday for the women and men living on the periphery of Cape Town and in other parts of the country. She argues that the everyday practices of the survivors must be taken up by the state and broader society to allow for inclusive social change in a post-conflict setting.
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Traumatic Storytelling and Memory in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Performing Signs of Injury

Author: Christopher J. Colvin

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 0429959028

Category: Social Science

Page: 176

View: 8195

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This book explores the practice of traumatic storytelling that emerged out of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission and came to play a key role in the lives of the members of the Khulumani Support Group for victims of apartheid-era political violence. Group members found traumatic storytelling both frustrating and yet also an important form of memory work that shaped how they saw themselves in the post-apartheid era. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, the author examines how traumatic storytelling functioned not only as a kind of psychological healing and national political theatre, but also as a potent form of social relation, economic exchange, political activism, and expressive practice. With emphasis on the personal, social, and political significance of the act of traumatic storytelling, this volume asks why members of Khulumani, despite their many disappointments, continued to engage intensively in storying their experiences for themselves and others. Examining what powers storytelling held for both group members and their witnesses, and considering the ways in which storytelling enabled new senses of self and new understandings of what was possible in the years after the end of apartheid, this book considers what we might learn more broadly from the experiences of Khulumani about the possibilities—and limits—of traumatic-memory-making as an instrument of personal, social, and political repair. As such, it will appeal to scholars of sociology, anthropology, and criminology with interest in justice and post-conflict societies.
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Beyond Repair?

Mayan Women’s Protagonism in the Aftermath of Genocidal Harm

Author: Alison Crosby,M. Brinton Lykes

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

ISBN: 0813598982

Category: Political Science

Page: 282

View: 7836

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Beyond Repair? explores Mayan women’s agency in the search for redress for harm suffered during the genocidal violence perpetrated by the Guatemalan state in the early 1980s at the height of the thirty-six-year armed conflict. The book draws on eight years of feminist participatory action research conducted with fifty-four Q’eqchi’, Kaqchikel, Chuj, and Mam women who are seeking truth, justice, and reparation for the violence they experienced during the war, and the women’s rights activists, lawyers, psychologists, Mayan rights activists, and researchers who have accompanied them as intermediaries for over a decade. Alison Crosby and M. Brinton Lykes use the concept of “protagonism” to deconstruct dominant psychological discursive constructions of women as “victims,” “survivors,” “selves,” “individuals,” and/or “subjects.” They argue that at different moments Mayan women have been actively engaged as protagonists in constructivist and discursive performances through which they have narrated new, mobile meanings of “Mayan woman,” repositioning themselves at the interstices of multiple communities and in their pursuit of redress for harm suffered.
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Extractive Industries and Changing State Dynamics in Africa

Beyond the Resource Curse

Author: Jon Schubert,Ulf Engel,Elísio Macamo

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISBN: 1351200615

Category: Political Science

Page: 178

View: 7499

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This book uses extractive industry projects in Africa to explore how political authority and the nation-state are reconfigured at the intersection of national political contestations and global, transnational capital. Instead of focusing on technological zones and the new social assemblages at the actual sites of construction or mineral extraction, the authors use extractive industry projects as a topical lens to investigate contemporary processes of state-making at the state–corporation nexus. Throughout the book, the authors seek to understand how public political actors and private actors of liberal capitalism negotiate and redefine notions and practices of sovereignty by setting legal, regulatory and fiscal standards. Rather than looking at resource governance from a normative perspective, the authors look at how these negotiations are shaped by and reshape the self-conception of various national and transnational actors, and how these jointly redefine the role of the state in managing these processes for the ‘greater good’. Extractive Industries and Changing State Dynamics in Africa will be useful for researchers, upper-level students and policy-makers who are interested in new articulations of state-making and politics in Africa.
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Violence, Inequality and Transformation: Apartheid Survivors on South Africa's Ongoing Transition

Author: Jasmina Brankovic,Brian Mphahlele,Sindiswa Nunu,Agnes Ngxukuma,Nompumelelo Njana,Yanelisa Sishuba

Publisher: DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Human Development

ISBN: 0639844014

Category: Political Science

Page: 190

View: 5265

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Despite its lauded political transition in 1994, South Africa continues to have among the highest levels of violence and inequality in the world. Organised survivors of apartheid violations have long maintained that we cannot adequately address violence in the country, let alone achieve full democracy, without addressing inequality. This book is built around extensive quotes from members of Khulumani Support Group, the apartheid survivors' social movement, and young people growing up in Khulumani families. It shows how these survivors, who bridge the past and the present through their activism, understand and respond to socioeconomic drivers of violence. Pointing to the continuities between apartheid oppression and post-apartheid marginalisation in everyday life, the narratives detail ways in which the democratic dispensation has strengthened barriers to social transformation and helped enable violence. They also present strategies for effecting change through collaboration, dialogue and mutual training and through partnerships with diverse stakeholders that build on local-level knowledge and community-based initiatives. The lens of violence offers new and manageable ways to think about reducing inequality, while the lens of inequality shows that violence is a complex web of causes, pathways and effects that requires a big-picture approach to unravel. The survivors' narratives suggest innovative strategies for promoting a just transition through people-driven transformation that go well beyond the constraints of South Africa's transitional justice practice to date. A result of participatory research conducted in collaboration with and by Khulumani members, this book will be of interest to activists, students, researchers and policy makers working on issues of transitional justice, inequality and violence.
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