The Netherlands, PhD Candidate, Social Anthropology, University of Cape Town, South Africa, 2019
Generation After: The Reconstitution of Kinship and Family Relations in Everyday Post-Genocide Rwanda
This research explores how kinship works in the aftermath of violence, especially from the perspectives of young people born from rape during the Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi in 1994. I investigate how kinship relations work and how family is reconstituted and understood, from the perspectives of young people, families, and local associations. The research finds answers to questions such as: How are relationships that derive from violent circumstances brought into the everyday? What forms of relationships become possible, impossible, enabled or dismissed, and with what consequences for young people born of wartime rape and their families? This ethnographic study provides significant insight into the lived experience of children born of sexual violence and how they are absorbed into post-violent societies.
Sexual violence in conflict situations has increasingly received international attention. Yet, there is a vast knowledge gap and lack of attention being given to the children born out of sexual violence. Engaging in research with young people born of rape in Rwanda helps us understand how social worlds and family relations are created and hence how peaceful worlds are made – or, how violent worlds are continued. Therefore, exploring the social worlds of the generation after violence in Rwanda offers important insights for peace building and post-conflict reconstruction around the world.