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 the 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
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalMemory Studies
Early online date7 Jun 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authordisclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article: This research was supported by the European Research Council under grant number 724518.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.

Keywords

  • coagulation cascade
  • conflict-related sexual violence
  • the living past
  • time/temporality
  • transitional justice

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