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Hidden Voices: a pathway to healing after conflict

Posted on 06/09/2016

Dr Rebekka Friedman has been awarded a 2 year ESRC Future Research Leaders grant focusing on how conflict shapes experiences of trauma and marginalization. Using Sri Lanka and Colombia as case studies her aim is to bring to the fore less visible everyday processes and experiences of violence and transition exploring innovative processes of healing.  It pays attention to voices that are often not heard in transitional justice research, particularly women who participated in or were directly affected by combat, focusing on former cadres, war widows and internally displaced populations. The questions that lie at the heart of the project are:

  • How does militarization and protracted conflict shape experiences of trauma and marginalization?
  • How and why do women’s stories become silenced or elevated in militarized settings?
  • To what extent are women’s stories incorporated into collective recovery processes?

Finishing an all night Aadi Amavasai pilgrimage in Mullaitivu, Northern Sri Lanka.

Photo:  Finishing an all night Aadi Amavasai pilgrimage in Mullaitivu, Northern Sri Lanka.

The project will hold a series of workshops in close collaboration with its partners, including the International Center for Ethnic Studies in Colombo, Sri Lanka; Shanthiham in Jaffna, Sri Lanka; and the Universidad del Rosario in Bogota, Colombia. The final outputs of the project will include a number of academic publications, a photographic and documentary exhibition, and case-specific community briefs and policy papers. It benefits from an interdisciplinary advisory board, with support from King’s College London, the London School of Economics, the University of Jaffna, and Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts.

Rebekka will be blogging and tweeting her journey via @RebekkaFriedman with the tag #hiddenvoices. 

About Rebekka Friedman

Rebekka Friedman is a lecturer of International Relations in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London. Her teaching and research focus on the intersection of transitional justice, peace-building, reconciliation, memory, and gender studies. She has a strong interest in qualitative research, particularly narrative methods in International Relations. Her recent co-edited manuscript, together with Kirsten Ainley and Chris Mahony, Evaluating Transitional Justice: Accountability and Peacebuilding in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone, was published with Palgrave Macmillan in 2015. Her forthcoming monograph, Competing Memories: Truth and Reconciliation in Sierra Leone and Peru is coming out in late 2016 with Cambridge University Press. She is a former editor of Millennium: Journal of International Studies.


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