Georgios Chatzoudis | 06/09/2010 | 990 Views | Articles

“Image and Performance in Conflict Transformation - A Study on Representations of Unity and Difference in Post-genocide Rwanda”

Autorin: Erika Dahlmanns, Universität Marburg

The PhD project aims at exploring the impact of visual and performative representations on processes of conflict transformation after the genocide in Rwanda. Taking culture-specific features of images and performances into account the research questions in how far mental and mediatised images as well as political and cultural performances have an impact on the perception as well as on the construction of individual and collective identity. It is analysed how mental, mediatised and performed images of unity and difference have been changing throughout the history of Rwanda comparing performances and images of national unity before and after the genocide. The research focuses on the analysis of symbols and aesthetic qualities of performances that foster notions of inclusion or exclusion as well as on the analysis of perception.

In this context the study furthermore explores how images and performances of national unity function in processes of (re-)appropriation of “normality” after violence and equally questions how images and performances are or can be implemented strategically in and after social conflicts. The research project combines perspectives from the field of cultural anthropology and peace and conflict studies in developing an interdisciplinary approach to conflict transformation.

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