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Victims And Heroes: Manding Historical Imagination In A Conflict-Ridden Border Region (Liberia-Guinea)

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Chapter Summary

Victimization, autochthony and citizenship, power, and nation-building constitute recurrent, interrelated themes in post-war Manding historical memory in the border area between Liberia and Guinea. While the perceived history of the Manding diverges from academic, historical knowledge as well as from neighbouring peoples' recollection of the past, it informs about the position and role of the marginalized, but at the same time military victorious Manding in a reshuffled Liberian political culture. This chapter suggests that contemporary Mande memory work serves a double purpose. On the one hand, Manding historical imagination gives expression to political ambitions and conveys claims to a number of basic civic rights, including citizenship. On the other, there is a moral value to heroic memories of the past as a means to recreate communal life and to come to terms with the experience of prolonged years of political marginalisation, violent deatch, loss of property and exile.

Keywords: communal life; Guinea; Liberia; Mande memory work; political marginalisation; Victimization



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