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How do women witnesses use their narrative agency to contribute to transitional justice, peacebuilding and societal transformation?
In her lecture, TraCe visiting fellow Prof. Dr Annika Björkdahl (Lund University) addresses women’s testimonies that collectively have played a key role in producing new knowledge about gendered experiences of war and its aftermath. She analyzes a rich corpus of women’s testimonies from four seminal conflicts: testimonies of the genocide in Rwanda (1994), testimonies pertaining to wartime rape in Bosnia-Herzegovina (1992–1995), the civil war in Sri Lanka (1983–2009), and testimonies of the violence perpetrated by the Islamic State (ISIS) in northern Iraq (2014). The testimonies have emerged over the years in a multitude of modes and sites, and when we bring them together, we see how testifying is a gendered, agential practice: the women exercise what can be termed narrative agency.