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Chapter Summary

This volume contributes to this scholarship from a specific perspective, namely through six case-studies of how certain individuals and groups in Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Somalia, and South Africa have engaged with the meanings and consequences of the political violence that has afflicted their societies. In this introduction, we first explain the concept of mediation through which these essays approach the study of violence and reflect on this mode of analysis in relation to the wider Africanist debate about how to study violence. We then give an overview of the chapters and highlight four themes that each chapter, in its own way, engages: memory; social suffering and healing; issues of space, scale and audience, and the performing and refashioning of identities. Our subtitle, "Fashioning New Futures from Contested Pasts", refers on the one hand to the conflicted nature of the mediations of violent past experiences we study.

Keywords: kenya; Rwanda; south africa; wider africanist



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