Domesticating the Word: Articulations of a Violent Past

Tonight, Anthropologist Alejandro Castillejo Cuéllar (2011-2012 Rechtskulturen Fellow at Humboldt University Law School) will talk in Recht im Kontext‘s Rechtskulturen Colloquium about the role that the articulation of a violent past, through different mechanisms, has in creating or reinforcing not only diverse forms of historical silence but also different ways of engaging the prospect of an imagined new society. His paper mainly deals with these questions in a series of transitional scenarios (South Africa, Colombia, and to a lesser extent Peru) in which testimonies of war were part of larger truth-seeking process.

“Despite their differences (historically and sociologically), there is an element that, it seems to me, they all share, a ‘pattern that connects’ them. In trying to grasp the multiple dimensions of violence, the collective languages instituted by State sponsored laws failed to render intelligible the structural dimensions of violence that are at the root of conflict itself ...

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