After Law: Atrocity Archives, Plural Memory and Arts-based Research

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Can arts-based research be applied to the context of legal atrocity archive material and contribute to plural dialogues and participation?

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Dr Benjamin Thorne recently completed his ESRC funded PhD in Law Studies at the University of Sussex. His main areas of interest are socio-legal studies, transitional justice, and social and cultural theory. Currently a central focus is memory, transitional justice, and legal atrocity archives. More generally, Benjamin is interested in questions around visuals, sounds, as well as the broader sensory field, in how people experience crime, law and justice, particularly in the international context; and the co-existence of spaces of law and faith in the aftermath of mass violence.

Using the archive of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) as a case study he will explore the potential of arts-based research to facilitate intergenerational transmission of memories, and the potential of this for young Rwandans to contribute to conversations about their community’s future. The ICTR generated, through its extensive and often long legal processes, a diverse archive relating to the genocide against the Tutsi. This material includes witness testimonies, photographs, videos, audio, letters and diaries. The session will discuss how this material and arts-based research has significant potential to allow young Rwandans to bring and negotiate meanings and knowledge relating to the country’s past, present and future.

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Organiser Creative Arts Research Network

Organiser of After Law: Atrocity Archives, Plural Memory and Arts-based Research

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