Resistant acts in post-genocide Rwanda


Breed, A. 2013. Resistant acts in post-genocide Rwanda. Kritika Kultura. 21/22.
AuthorsBreed, A.

Performances of justice and human rights have served as international platforms for
truth-telling and nation-building both in the aftermath of apartheid in South Africa, and
genocide in the case of Rwanda. There are moments of overlap between actual court
proceedings, which can in their own right be deemed as a performance, and the use of
theatre for dialogic negotiations between past atrocities and present juridical systems for
Within the messy context of post-conflict reconstruction, speech often
falters. Articulations of identities and speech acts become disjointed between personal and
collective memories and identities; but are forced into the construction of juridical speech
in the case of Rwanda’s
courts. This essay will analyze how micro and macro socio-
political dynamics are articulated in the gacaca courts used to adjudicate crimes linked
to the 1994 genocide against Tutsi during which over 1 million Tutsi and Hutu moderates
were massacred. I will illustrate how these different levels of power interact with each
other through social performances (Alexander, 2011) and to extend the concept of faltered
speech as artistic resistance (Scott, 1990).

Keywordsgenocide; performativity; gacaca; reconciliation
JournalKritika Kultura
Journal citation21/22
PublisherAteneo de Manila University
Publisher's version
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Publication dates
PrintAug 2013
Publication process dates
Deposited19 Aug 2013
Copyright information© Ateneo de Manila University
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