In Between War and Peace. Spaces of Transition in Africa

Call for Papers for a Workshop (Panel 23) to be held at ECAS 2009 3rd European Conference on African Studies Leipzig, 4 to 7 June 2009
Convened by Dr. Anna-Maria Brandstetter, Institut für Ethnologie und Afrikastudien, Joh. Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Forum 6, D-55099 Mainz, eMail: brandste@uni-mainz.de; Tel.: +49-06131-3920119
Dr. Susanne Buckley-Zistel, Otto Suhr-Institut, FU Berlin, Ihnestr. 26, 14195 Berlin, eMail: s.buckley-zistel@fu-berlin.de, Tel.: +49-030-838 57088


Call for Papers for a Workshop (Panel 23) to be held at ECAS 2009 3rd European Conference on African Studies Leipzig, 4 to 7 June 2009
Convened by Dr. Anna-Maria Brandstetter, Institut für Ethnologie und Afrikastudien, Joh. Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Forum 6, D-55099 Mainz, eMail: brandste@uni-mainz.de; Tel.: +49-06131-3920119
Dr. Susanne Buckley-Zistel, Otto Suhr-Institut, FU Berlin, Ihnestr. 26, 14195 Berlin, eMail: s.buckley-zistel@fu-berlin.de, Tel.: +49-030-838 57088

Abstract: The workshop aims to explore how divided societies are re-structured and con-figured in Spaces of Transition such as inter alia the South African, Sierra Leonian or Moroccan truth commissions, the Gacaca tribunals in Rwanda, the Healing of Memories in South Africa or Mato Oput in Northern Uganda.

Detailed description: Dealing with the aftermath of violent conflicts and dictatorial regimes in order to provide for a peaceful future makes use of a number of different instruments and mechanisms, including national and international tribunals, truth commissions and memory work which aim at uncovering the truth about past crimes, putting past wrongs right, holding perpetrators accountable, vindicating the dignity of victims-survivors and contributing to reconciliation. These Spaces of Transition are at simultaneously oriented to the past, in addressing the wrongs that have been committed; to the present, in establishing a new ethical and institutional framework; and through this, to prevent the future occurrence of such similar injustices. Despite the increased interest in dealing with the past, the notion of space has so far gained little attention. Space, in this sense, refers to three aspects: the temporal space between past, present and future, the social space between the parties to the conflict and the physical space of the site for the encounter. In these Spaces of Transition new orders are established and new moralities defined.
This raises a series of question which our panel seeks to address, including how divided societies are re-structured and con-figured in the spaces of transition, how images and (often Western) norms of transitional justice and order are translated into practise in the respective local contexts, if and how these spaces are engendered, what kind of order is constructed in the space and to what effect, and if and how the spaces turn into loci for restoring trust and peaceful coexistence.