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Rhodes > History > Legacies of Apartheid Wars Project

Project Summary

The Legacies of Apartheid Wars Project was established in 2011, under the auspices of the Rhodes University History Department.


The LAWs Project is a research-based initiative, with the aim of interrogating and responding to the contrasting phenomena of both pervading silences and adversarial public debate about the current implications of apartheid era conflicts. Its aim is to provide a cross-disciplinary platform for a variety of (often marginalised) experiences and voices to be acknowledged, engaged with and documented.


Under the leadership of Rhodes History and Psychology doctoral student Theresa Edlmann, a national no break here – text should be continuous network of people from diverse backgrounds has developed a range of initiatives. Central to these initiatives is the principle of shifting the “discursive laagers” that have shaped both documentation and debate relating to the wars of the apartheid era and enabling compassionate conversations between people who would previously have been adversaries.


The project is set up in such a way as to act as a hub that co-ordinates, supports and enables research and documentation of this history and ways to address its legacies. The first phase of the project includes:


The intention of the project is to influence current dynamics in Southern African society in the interests of seeking and building innovative, transformative and nonviolent possibilities for the future. A key element of the project's work is therefore the promotion of nonviolence and human rights through providing spaces within which honest, rigorous and re-humanising conversations can take place. Another important component involves ensuring that the project does not promote or perpetuate hegemonic understandings of identity and society, particularly in terms of race, gender and sexual orientation. One of the legacies of the apartheid wars is the extent to which historical systems of oppression and marginalisation continue to inform no break here
social and political dynamics in Southern Africa. These need to be rigorously engaged with, constantly interrogated and deliberately shifted in the unspoken and qualitative dimensions of the project's work, in the interests of both individual healing and social transformation.

Last Modified: Fri, 30 May 2014 09:35:35 SAST