This volume deals with the manifold ways in which histories are debated and indeed historicity and historiography themselves are interrogated via the narrative modes of the truth commissions. It traces the various medial responses (memoirs, fiction, poetry, film, art) which have emerged in the wake of the truth commissions.
The 1990s and the 2000s saw a spate of so-called truth commissions across the Global South. From the inaugural truth commissions in post-juntas 1980s Latin America, to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission set up by the incoming post-apartheid government in South Africa and the twinned gacaca courts and National Unity and Reconciliation Commission in Rwanda and that in indigenous Australia, various truth commissions have sought to lay bare human rights abuses. The chapters in this volume explore how truth commissions crystallized a long tradition of dissenting and resisting cultures of memorialization in the public sphere across the Global South and provided a significant template for contemporary attempts to work through episodes of violence and oppression across the region. Drawing on studies from Latin America, Africa, Asia and Australia, this book illuminates the modes in which societies remember and negotiate with traumatic pasts.
This book will be of great interest to scholars and researchers of human rights, popular culture and art, literature, media, politics and history.
Table of Contents
1. Reassessing South African Truth and Reconciliation: John Kani’s Missing and Performative Demands for Justice 2. The Advancement of Truth Commissions on Past Affairs Along with Democratization in Korea: My Experiences as a Commissioner in Three Different Truth Commissions 3. Memories about Truth: Journalistic Narratives, ‘True Stories’ and the Clash of Memories in Brazil’s National Truth Commission 4. Ubu and the Truth Commission: The Multiple Contexts of the TRC and Ubu 5. Black Memories of the Brazilian Military Dictatorship: The Repression of Black Dances During the 1970s and the State of Rio Truth Commission 6. ‘That’s the Bad Past We Want to Forget’: Partial Truths, Reconciliation and Memory in Namibia’s Post-Apartheid Democracy 7. Notice Well: Memory and Reparation in the Brazilian Documentary Movies about the Dictatorship 8. Literature as Witness: Failure of a TRC Following the Mass Rapes in Bosnia and Herzegovina 9. The Practice of Public Apology: Australia Says Sorry to the Stolen Generations 10. The Gacaca Courts: Collective versus Personal Memory and Trauma of the Genocide in Rwanda. Postface: Truth Commissions and the Reinvention of the Past
Véronique Tadjo is Visiting Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she was Head of French and Francophone Studies from 2007 to 2015. She was born in Paris and grew up in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. She holds a PhD in Black American Literature and Civilization from the Sorbonne Paris IV, France. She was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to Howard University in Washington, D.C. She was a lecturer at Abidjan University and Lagos University. She is an award-winning fiction writer, a poet and author of books for young people. She has travelled extensively in Africa, Europe and America. She now shares her time between London and Abidjan.