Oral Presentation Session
Reviewed by: Association for Political and Legal Anthropology
Of interest to: Practicing and Applied Anthropologists
Primary Theme: The Political
Secondary Theme: Human rights
This panel explores the effects of reparation politics on intersections of memory and space. Reparation, as a political process that often stems from civil society demands and is typically carried out as part of governmental projects of transitional justice and socio-political reform, reconfigures social and environmental landscapes through the fashioning of new places as well as the erasure or reinvention of locations charged with memories of past violence and/or the “futures past” of utopian and revolutionary projects. Places of reparation, ranging from commemorative monuments to rural sites affected by the restoration of property rights, generate new forms of remembering past suffering and histories of social upheaval while animating feelings of hope and justice in ways that are often conflictive and unpredictable. This panel brings together research analyses on development projects targeting former coca growers in Peru, family reunions between citizens of two Koreas, post-conflict welfare policies for Colombian farmers and exhibitions commemorating past violence between Greek and Turkish populations in Cyprus. Taken together, these analyses higlight the spatial dimensions of reparation politics as a key element in the emergence of unstable relations of coexistence across political, racial, gender, and class divides. They also illustrate the potential of reparation politics to mold understandings of the past through disputed spatial experiences emerging in daily life and as a result of sudden events of political disruption taking place in and around places of reparation.