This article addresses the creative agency of women within the context of post-conflict or transitional justice (TJ). Specifically it seeks to underscore the diverse ways in which women in societies emerging from violent conflict and its attendant gender-based violations and atrocities use art and creative media to pursue the objectives of justice. The aims of this article are twofold: first, this article draws attention to the need for local stakeholders in war-affected communities and their international supporters to go beyond official mechanisms of transitional justice; to integrate cultural justice by recognising and encouraging aesthetic and creative means of pursuing justice after violent transitions, and women's particular capacities in this domain. Second, alongside the drive to treat women as more than victims by recognising their political agency in shaping peace and justice, this article draws attention to the need to recognise the creative agency of women and its valuable albeit intangible benefits for TJ and peacebuilding.
Culture has been absent from analyses and debates about the responsibility to protect (R2P) norm. The use of the military to enforce a no-fly zone in Libya and to protect civilians took place with support from the local population and more widely across the Arab World even when the dominant 'culture' supposedly made outside interference unthinkable. As R2P enters its second decade, a deeper understanding of culture is desirable, as is the incorporation of cultural perspectives in framing responses to mass atrocities. UN debates and resolutions have helped dispel myths about R2P and reaffirmed its validity as a universal norm that is close to a 'tipping point'. Instead of an 'emerging' norm (the original contention in 2001 by the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty), R2P has 'emerged' as consensus continues to widen and deepen across the North and the global South. This essay shares insights from research about cultural perspectives in the global South from local researchers who explore three themes (religion and spirituality, philosophy and ethics, and art and aesthetics) and three country cases (Rwanda, Kosovo, and Nepal).