Untold Stories and Disconnectedness. The Dilemma of Conscript Veterans of the Bush War

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Date

2009

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Department of Dutch and South African Studies, Faculty of English

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Abstract

This exploratory article scrutinizes the ways in which 12 white Afrikaansspeaking former conscripts - who experienced combat during the long-drawn-out lowintensity war along the border between Angola and Namibia – understand, give meaning to and deal with their violent conflict experiences in the context of political change in South Africa. The article highlights some of the predicaments faced by men who had seen and done violence during a war that has been remained largely undisclosed to the public. The former conflict is also increasingly reinterpreted as having been unjust. The paper argues that Afrikaner identity has long been constructed as somehow ‘spoiled’ and that this affects the ways in which ex-combatants can express their memories and lived experiences of the war. Yet veterans are increasingly creating ways in which to , as remembering subjects, are nonetheless slowly finding ways to redistribute their experiences in an effort to make sense of the past.

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war, violence, trauma, Afrikaner, Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)

Citation

Werkwinkel vol. 4(1), 2009, pp.71-102

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Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Biblioteka Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego