'What Made the Elephant Rise Up from the Shade?': Relationships in Transition and Negotiating Silence in Mozambique

Igreja, Victor (2019) 'What Made the Elephant Rise Up from the Shade?': Relationships in Transition and Negotiating Silence in Mozambique. In: Truth, Silence and Violence in Emerging States: Histories of the Unspoken. Routledge Studies in Human Rights. Taylor & Francis (Routledge), Abingdon, United Kingdom, pp. 88-110. ISBN 9780815351610


Abstract

This chapter focuses on relationships in transition following periods of protracted civil wars and severe famine and it how people negotiated the resetting of their shattered social relations in Gorongosa, a district in the center of Mozambique. In this region, interactions among war survivors and post-war generations are shaped by a set of disturbing legacies of past violations, allegedly perpetrated by kin members during the country's civil war (1976–1992) and severe famine (1988–1992). Yet, decades afterwards, the survivors and their offspring do not make the memories of these disturbing experiences straightforwardly accessible to others outside the intimate spaces of kin relations. In everyday life, they can unburden their experiences of personal victimization and family loss, but they remain mute in relation to family and personal involvement in serious violations. What uses do war survivors and their offspring make of such silence? What is the meaning of silence in communities affected by war and famine? How is silence within relationships handled among families with tainted memories of past serious violence? By addressing these questions, I suggest that in communities in conflict disclosures of serious violations are never complete, and that silence is a form of collective action that, in specific circumstances, is interrupted by unexpected accusations of serious violations allegedly perpetrated by kin members. Such accusations pave the way for the negotiation and resolution of protracted conflicts.


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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Humanities and Communication (1 Mar 2019 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Humanities and Communication (1 Mar 2019 -)
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2020 03:26
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2021 00:22
Uncontrolled Keywords: Relationships in transition; Silence; Truth; Accountability; War violence; Famine; Protracted conflicts; Families; Memories
Fields of Research (2008): 21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210310 Middle Eastern and African History
16 Studies in Human Society > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology
18 Law and Legal Studies > 1899 Other Law and Legal Studies > 189999 Law and Legal Studies not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4401 Anthropology > 440107 Social and cultural anthropology
43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4303 Historical studies > 430318 Middle Eastern and North African history
48 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 4899 Other law and legal studies > 489999 Other law and legal studies not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture
C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280116 Expanding knowledge in language, communication and culture
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351141123-5
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/37911

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