Bearing Witness: Women and the Truth and Reconciliation by Fiona C. Ross

By Fiona C. Ross

Those who witness acts of terror and violence are usually known as after the development to endure witness to what they observed. In circumstances the place this violence is inflicted by means of the country upon its personal humans, the method of bearing witness is either politically advanced and tense for the person concerned. self sustaining trials and commissions became very important mechanisms in which the reality of previous violence is sought in democratising states, yet up to now there was little shut realization to the procedures and complexity of the paintings of such institutions.Fiona Ross's attention-grabbing learn of the method of bearing witness is the 1st publication to ascertain the gendered dimensions of this subject from an anthropological and ethnographic point of view. Taking as a key instance the reality and Reconciliation fee in South Africa, Ross explores women's relationships to testimony, relatively the level to which girls keep away from conversing approximately or are silent approximately definite sorts of violence and discomfort. providing a wealth of first-hand examples, Ross ways a extra refined figuring out of the achievements and the constraints of testimony as a degree of ache and restoration normally. Is it, she asks, the panacea it is often visible as? Or do traditional discourses on human rights, soreness and reconciliation oversimplify an altogether extra complicated and complex approach?

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Extra resources for Bearing Witness: Women and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Anthropology, Culture and Society)

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Goniwe became involved in ‘rekindling the politics of resistance’ locally, his widow told the Commission. In December 1983, Goniwe was transferred to Graaff-Reinet once more. However, seeing it as an attempt to curtail his political activity, he refused to go. The community and youth of Cradock supported him in his decision. Youths boycotted schools, demanding his reinstatement. In March 1984, he and three others were detained under Section 28 of the wide-ranging provisions of the Internal Security Act, which provided for ‘preventative detention’ for an indefinite period.

Earlier, I described Sylvia Dlomo-Jele’s expectations of a time when her child would provide for her, and how these were changed by her child’s death. Her expectations are paralleled in the story that Nokiki Gwedla told to the Commission in Cape Town, on 24 April 1996.

Where violence ruptures the range of voice and the articulation of experience, it raises anew the problem of how to acknowledge suffering. The problem has to do with listening. Describing the faculties with which one may mourn a lost lover, novelist Jeanette Winterson speaks of hearing thus: Hearing and the Ear: The auricle is the expanded portion which projects from the side of the head. It is composed of fibro-elastic cartilage covered with skin and fine hairs. It is deeply grooved and ridged.

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