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This category contains 27 posts

Third post by Charlotte Mertens

Colonial Memories, Sexual Violence and Current Humanitarianism Conducting archival work in the Africa Museum of Tervuren, I am amazed by the many expressions of genuine concern on the part of the colonial regime on the status and wellbeing of ‘la femme noire’/ ‘the black woman’. Perceived by colonials as ‘simple merchandise’, a ‘beast of burden’ … Continue reading

2nd blog post by Charlotte Mertens

Researching sexual violence in the armed conflict of eastern DRC October 2012. Lake Kivu. The boat takes us from Bukavu to Goma. Lively Congolese rumba music comes from ‘la boîte/disco’ in the lower deck. Balmy weather, light breeze, the magical beauty of the Lake, on moments like these it is hard to believe I am … Continue reading

First Blog Post by Charlotte Mertens

Researching sexual violence in the armed conflict of eastern DRC September 2012. My Congolese friend Marie-Noël, who runs a small, community-based NGO, welcomes us in Ruzizi, a border town between Rwanda and the DRC. We hop in her jeep and head for Bukavu. Five minutes later, the car is stopped. Two men have barricaded the … Continue reading

3rd blogpost by Catherine Porter

‘Change of Plans’ – Blog 3 Identities are prevalent in any society, as a political entity or a loosely grouped community of people.  These identities constitute part of the fibre of the national, regional, and local identity.  The Congo is imbued with multiple national, regional, and local identities, which make up the fibre of its … Continue reading

2nd blog post by Catherine Porter

‘Change of Plans – Part 2’ Generally one of the most striking things about the Katangan secession of 1960-1963 was the imagery and iconography created to develop a personal nationalism that could resonate within the local population.  A variety of things were created and constructed – an airline, the national/local military, Katangan postage stamps, the … Continue reading

1st Blog Post by Catherine Porter

‘Changes to the Plan’ I’m not entirely sure how the fieldwork for my dissertation suddenly came to life.  As a historian, it isn’t something you would typically expect to happen when filling out a university form several terms in advance to apply for fieldwork.  However, this is Lubumbashi and as someone once told me, in … Continue reading

3rd blogpost by Judith Verweijen

The challenges of researching armed actors in Eastern DRC # 3: dealing with the positionality of the research subject and the verification of fact The universal problem of uncovering the “truth”, or obtaining inter-subjectively shared representations of “reality” presents itself in a particularly acute manner in zones of conflict. In this respect, Caroline Nordstrom speaks … Continue reading

2nd Blog Post by Judith Verweijen

The challenges of researching armed actors in Eastern DRC: #2 Balancing the analysis of discourses and practices In general, human beings tend to justify their own acts, represent reality in a way that suits their interests, and develop rational and rhetorical strategies for coping with conflicting or “inconvenient” information, like downplaying, ignoring, or twisting certain … Continue reading

1st Blog Post by Judith Verweijen

The challenges of researching armed actors in Eastern DRC:  #1 overcoming sensationalism and exoticism   Certainly, it was the mixture of a deep fascination for the subject matter, an attraction to armed actors and an incurable penchant for thrill-seeking that drove me to dedicate my PhD research to the Congolese military and armed groups in … Continue reading

3ieme post du bloggeur invite Pedro Monaville

Mise en abîme Des hommes surgissent dans un orphelinat isolé au milieu d’une clairière. Lourdement armés, ils sont résolus à s’emparer du groupe d’enfants hébergé par le missionnaire américain qui a construit l’orphelinat. Ils n’hésitent pas à recourir à la torture pour qu’on leur indique l’endroit où ces enfants se cachent. On devine rapidement le … Continue reading

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