Veterans of liberation wars and counter-insurgencies: negotiating loss, integration, memory and trauma
Alice Wilson (University of Sussex)
Ana Margarida Sousa Santos (ICS-ULisboa)
Science Site/Engineering E005
Start time:
6 July, 2016 at 9:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

Through an analysis of how veterans of liberation wars - both liberation movements and counter-insurgency veterans - face legacies and memories of liberation wars, this panel illuminates shared experiences of war, trauma, loss and memorialization on both sides of the colonial encounter.

Long abstract:

The 1960s and 1970s saw wars pitting liberation movements against local and foreign state powers in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Today, these veterans, and those who have come of age in the wake of these wars, face challenges: coping with trauma, achieving political and economic integration, seeking recognition from peers and state authorities, and negotiating memory and commemoration. Taking up historically and geographically diverse cases from post-colonial countries and former colonial powers, this panel examines the lives of liberation and counter-insurgency veterans. It pays attention to questions of political, economic, physical and social welfare - and malaise. By studying veterans who found themselves on both sides of liberation wars, the panel probes the parallels and distinctions between veterans in different settings. It investigates the potential for veteran networks to bring about forms of inclusion and exclusion, to formulate political demands, and to shift understandings of the wars and their consequences. We seek papers that address the multiple, historically contextualized experiences of war and its consequences for veterans and their families. Questions to be addressed may include: In what ways are war memories integrated, silenced or commemorated in post-war contexts? How do official and unofficial legacies of liberation wars co-exist? What narratives of well-being have been developed? How do different understandings of past conflict impact on current debates around colonial wars and liberation movements? Through a comparative approach we aim to illuminate shared experiences of war, trauma, loss and memorialization in diverse contexts.