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Research Creations as a Medium for Truth-telling and Transformative Peacebuilding

April 17, 2024 at 1:00 PM to 2:30 AM

Location:Zoom and 1723 Dunton Tower
Audience:Alumni, Anyone, Carleton Community, Current Students, Staff and Faculty

Please join us on Wednesday, April 17,  2024 | 1:00-2:30 PM EST. Ruth Murambadoro  presents :  “Research Creations as a Medium for Truth-telling and Transformative Peacebuilding“.

Literature on peacebuilding and transitional justice highlights that truth telling is essential for acknowledging experiences of victims and survivors because most incidents of violence occur in secrecy or are denied, thereby eroding realities of those affected by the ordeal. Often the collective truth about past injustices ends up being guided by those wielding political power, thereby producing victors’ truth. It becomes difficult to ascertain the truth acceptable and valuable to victims and survivors especially in contexts where positive political transitions have not occurred. Thus, the absence of a coordinated recording and archiving of embodied traumas and horrific encounters poses a threat to well being of society among marginalized voices. In this writing I explore the power of creative arts-based research in providing healing, closure and memorializing realities of victims and survivors of state-sanctioned violence in Zimbabwe. I draw on artistic illustrations generated from my collaborative engagements with women rights movements in Zimbabwe who have been victimized by the state for their work. I reflect on the dynamic ways art provides a medium to preserve their agency, as well as amplify their resistance to toxic masculinities. I argue that the artwork embodies the individual and shared truths among the collective of women in the study and serves to re-member their invisible bodies by amplifying their feelings, thoughts, and aspirations. Through art, the study has enacted a cathartic encounter that simultaneously acknowledges the realities of women rights movements in Zimbabwe as well as provide an avenue to extend their efforts of building inclusive societies.

About the speaker:
Ruth Murambadoro is an African feminist who writes on women, transitional justice, social justice, and politics of the Global South. Based at the Centre for Feminist Research, York University, her work explores the gendered nature of the post-colonial state to broaden understandings of violence perpetrated against women in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on Zimbabwe. She holds research affiliations with the Harriet Tubman Institute and the Wits School of Governance. In her long-term project ‘Humanizing African Women Movements’ she is working with emerging and seasoned African artists to build a digital repository of research creations (re)presenting African women’s resistance in the postcolony.