IRRC No. 910

Does individual and collective remembrance of past violence impede or foster reconciliation? From Argentina to Sri Lanka

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While the dominant human rights discourse on transitional justice constitutes a mix of reinforcing aims that seek to “make peace with” a violent past, this article complicates this notion by exploring how affective memories can prevent individuals from envisioning a future for themselves in which their individual and their nation’s past is safely left behind. In the context of ongoing debates over whether to remember or forget a country’s traumatic past, the article will show how affective memories of violence and disappearance prevail and disrupt the reconciliation paradigm, and need to be taken into account in transitional justice processes.

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More about International Review of the Red Cross, Memory and war, Sri Lanka, Argentina, Transitional justice

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