Human Rights

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By Christine Anthonissen, Jan Blommaert

First released as a distinct factor of the Journal of Language and Politics 5:1 (2006), this selection of papers focuses, from a few diverse disciplinary views, on facets of language and communique in reliable tactics of facing irritating pasts. it's a textual content that belongs to the style of speaking approximately ache, approximately nation violence, approximately uncovering suppressed truths. Linguists and several other social scientists examine discourses, more often than not ones generated in the course of hearings of the South African fact and Reconciliation fee (TRC), scrutinizing them for the way trauma is articulated and occasionally conquer, for the way confrontational discourses are publicly controlled, for the way, after gross human rights violations, reconciliation will be mediated. Language is seen as an device of confronting a aggravating earlier, of negotiating clash, and of beginning methods of therapeutic for people in addition to in groups.

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Extra resources for Discourse and Human Rights Violations (Benjamins Current Topics)

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Legitimising the Post-Apartheid State. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Narrative inequality in the TRC hearings On the hearability of hidden transcripts Jan Blommaert, Mary Bock and Kay McCormick Institute of Education, University of London and Ghent University / University of Cape Town / University of Cape Town South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission victim hearings were a highly unusual discourse event in which previously silenced and powerless people were offered a prestigious public forum and speech format to tell about their experiences of human rights violations.

The hearings were broadcast through the South African national media, thus creating a platform for lifting personal experiences to the level of national history and national consciousness. This is where narrative inequality enters the picture. As observed above, the people who were heard by the TRC were framed as important, relevant and instructive storytellers; they were put on a stage on which all efforts were made to treat them as such. Yet, it is clear that the stories of some people made it (or will make it) more easily into ‘history’ than those of others.

2002. Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa. Miracle or Model? Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc. Hamilton, Carolyn et al. (eds). 2002. Refiguring the Archive. Cape Town: David Philip Publishers. 31 32 Annelies Verdoolaege Hay, Mark. 1998. Ukubuyisana. Reconciliation in South Africa. Pietermaritzburg: Cluster Publications. Hayner, Priscilla B. 2000. Unspeakable Truths. Confronting State Terror and Atrocity. London: Routledge. Ignatieff, Michael. 1998. The Warrior’s Honor, Ethnic War and the Modern Conscience.

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