Chapter

Voices silenced, voices rediscovered Victims of violence and the reclamation of language in transitional societies

Kirk Simpson

in Truth Recovery in Northern Ireland

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780719078620
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781703045 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719078620.003.0004
Voices silenced, voices rediscovered Victims of violence and the reclamation of language in transitional societies

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Whilst many transitional governments have indicated that they are committed to victim-centered processes of truth recovery, it is important to make the crucial distinction between the institution of mere procedures for change (and the rhetorical lip service that these can involve) and the need for a theoretical platform for truth recovery and political and social rebalancing which has at its core a fundamental recognition of the importance of language rediscovery and victim storytelling. This chapter provides a critical analysis of the nature of the destruction of language that occurs in violent societies, tracing the ways in which the voices of victims have been excluded by violent repression and marginalised or ignored by many truth commissions. Central to victims' social, cultural, and political recuperation is the reclamation of language that complements dialogical processes of truth recovery.

Keywords: transitional governments; truth recovery; rhetorical lip service; victim storytelling; violent societies; truth commissions

Chapter.  9131 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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