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Suggesting reconciliation at the hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) took place under unique circumstances and in a very particular historical context. This article will explore how such a specific kind of reality gave rise to a specific kind of discourse, a so-called ‘reconciliation discourse’. On the one hand, this discourse offered the apartheid victims a lot of opportunities regarding linguistic expression. On the other hand, though, this discourse was also regimented and limited to a certain extent. By means of fragments from the TRC victim testimonies, this article will deal with one aspect of this linguistic manipulation, namely the introduction of the concept of reconciliation. In the first part of the article, I will explain which linguistic methods were used during the TRC hearings in order to emphasize the notion of reconciliation in the narratives of the testifying victims. In doing so, a lot of attention will be paid to the concrete interaction between the testifiers and the TRC commissioners. In a second part, I will try to investigate why the construction of this specific reconciliation discourse was necessary in the South African context. We will see that, amongst others, also political considerations played a role in the control exercised over the discourse of the TRC victims. In this way, we will understand that the reconciliation discourse of the Commission was a reflection of a very ambiguous social attitude: this discourse had to reveal as much as possible about the apartheid past – and this in a manner as spontaneous, as transparent and as open as possible -, but it also had to be adapted to certain socio-political needs. This will tell us that also a quasi-judicial institution such as the TRC involves an inevitable interplay between language on the one hand and ideology and society on the other.

In: Afrika Focus

Whether post-conflict reconciliation programmes are able to change hostile behaviours is not known. This study sought to assess the influence of reconciliation programmes on the reconciliation attitudes of war-affected adolescents in two communities in Northern Uganda. Four hundred and forty five adolescents within two communities, one with and the other without interventions were assessed for exposure to war-related and daily stressors and place of residence using hierarchical regression analysis to predict reconciliation attitudes. Adolescents in the non-intervention community recorded more positive and also more negative reconciliation attitudes; exposure to daily and war-related stressors was more positively associated with increasing reconciliation attitudes among adolescents in the non-intervention than those in the intervention community. Overall the programmes recorded limited impact on reconciliation attitudes, perhaps due to the pervasive adverse social situation of the people. Conclusion: there is a need for multi-pronged, collaborative programme efforts targeting holistic recovery programmes with focus on changing negative reconciliation attitudes.

In: Afrika Focus

moment ago about how radical the concept of necro-being really is. In terms of the concept of reparations, you said that there can be no reparations. I wonder then, how do you understand reconciliation? This concept that has been bandied about so much. Is it for you a non-possibility or is it a

In: African Somaesthetics: Cultures, Feminisms, Politics

the period immediately after the end of the civil conflict that followed the closely contested presidential and parliamentary elections of December 2007. Using a framework derived from political psychology and political communication can assist in identifying the process of reconciliation

In: African and Asian Studies

Created and maintained by the Library of Congress, African and Middle East Division , and part of the LC’s ‘Portals to the World’, this guide provides a selected sampling of online information resources dealing with reconciliation processes in African nations. The ‘Portals to the World’ Web project

In: African Studies Companion Online
Apartheid Literary Culture and its Aftermath
Skin Tight: Apartheid Literary Culture and its Aftermath traces the responses to the emergent paradigm of South African literary studies from the 1970s onwards. Embedded in the influential critical texts of the field, it claims, are hidden narratives - of land, race, gender, desire and embodiment. This volume explores these submerged dimension's of South African literary history and the influence they continue to exert well into the post-apartheid era. It suggests that significant continuities exist between late-apartheid and post-apartheid literary culture, and positions these against the interpretive horizon of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Commemorative monuments, memorials and public statuary in post-apartheid South Africa
Under the aegis of the post-apartheid government, much emphasis has been placed on the transformation and democratisation of the heritage sector in South Africa since 1994. The emergent new landscape of memory relies heavily on commemorative monuments, memorials and statues aimed at reconciliation, nation-building and the creation of a shared public history. But not everyone identifies with these new symbolic markers and their associated interpretation of the past. Drawing on a number of theoretical perspectives, this book critically investigates the flourishing monument phenomenon in South Africa, the political discourses that fuel it; its impact on identity formation, its potential benefits, and most importantly its ambivalences and contradictions.
Author: Harry Wels
This book is the first about private wildlife conservation and community involvement in Zimbabwe. It is a case study based on ethnographic fieldwork done in 1998. It focuses on the joint venture between a private wildlife conservation initiative, the Save Valley Conservancy, and its surrounding communities in terms of reciprocal exchange and the land question. It makes clear, amongst other things, that the current political tragedy in Zimbabwe about land did not start when Mugabe lost the referendum in February 2000. The book tries to offer an explanation for the unforgiving route that Mugabe has obviously taken in the land question, despite his words of reconciliation when he came to power in 1980. This book is of particular interest to students, practitioners and academics in the fields of (private) wildlife conservation, community participation and organisational co-operation.
Author: James C.F. Wang

critical to the review, but I thought might help serve to support additional translations of this sort. BOOK REVIEWS Robert G. Sutter, China-Watch: Toward Sino-American Reconciliation. The Johns Hop- kins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1978, 155 pp. $10.95. The central thesis of this book is that

In: Journal of Asian and African Studies

engineers, medical teams and logisticians in earlier operations, such as the UN’s Advance Mission in Cambodia between October 1991 and March 1992. China’s presence followed its participation in the Paris Peace Accords for Cambodia and diplomatic support for a peaceful transition and reconciliation

In: The African Review