The living past in the lives of victims-/survivors of conflict-related sexual violence: temporal implications for transitional justice

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Abstract

Issues of time and temporality are highly relevant to the field of transitional justice. The very concept of ‘transition’, and transitional justice processes more broadly, reflect a linear and teleological understanding of time that moves in a particular direction. While building on existing temporal critiques of transitional justice, this interdisciplinary article makes two original contributions to this corpus of scholarship – empirical and conceptual. First, emphasizing what it refers to as ‘the living past’, it draws on qualitative interviews with victims-/survivors of conflict-related sexual violence in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colombia and Uganda to explore empirically some of the various ways that the past experientially intruded into the interviewees’ present. Second, it utilizes the analogy of coagulation cascade, a biological blood-clotting process, to reflect on how transitional justice processes might move beyond linear temporal conceptualizations to recognize lived experiences of time and the multiple ways that individuals – as well as communities and societies – continue to coexist and transition with the living past.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMemory Studies
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 10 Mar 2022

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Not yet published as of 09/05/2022.

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