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Learning to live together: Ethnography of post-violence in the Basque Country. An interpretation as compared to South Africa

Grant number: 13/21800-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2014
Effective date (End): April 21, 2018
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology
Principal researcher:Omar Ribeiro Thomaz
Grantee:Adriana Maria Villalón
Home Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):16/22643-9 - Transforming the present into past: grammars of the processes of management of violences in the South African local intimacy, BE.EP.PD   16/22641-6 - Implementing conviviality: managing (post) violence politics in Basque Country., BE.EP.PD

Abstract

In this post-doctoral research project, I intend to undertake a comparative ethnographic study of how the current post-conflict scenario in Spain has been constructed in the context of the Basque Country, where narratives of coexistence and reconciliation have come to frame different institutional and civil activity. This is an ethnography made up of specific scenarios which demonstrate how this society is beginning to come to terms with its own intimacy and external image, following the end of the violent conflicts that have taken place in the last 60 years (stemming from the organisation ETA, the state and paramilitary activity). The general aim is to understand the social meanings of constructing peace, outlining the sociogenesis of the local manifestation of this together with its incorporation into wider processes at an international level. It is an ethnographic analysis of a set of procedures (legal, social and educational) which have been developed in the post-conflict era and how they have unfolded. Is an comparative study with SouthAfrica.To this end, the research will analyse how practices in the Basque Country aimed at producing reconciliation and coexistence are structured and embodied in educational initiatives for young people and adults; legal activity linked to post-conflict situations; and the processes and definitions by which, gradually, different categories, recognitions and statutes of victims and all those affected will be developed. Moreover, the careers and professionalization of the experts who create the different narratives and categorisations will also be examined. In South Africa, the current implications of reparation and reconciliation practices which began in the 1990s in specific scenarios, as well as the conditions in which their corresponding experts moved, will be explored. Some of the questions which condition this analysis are: How is a society re-educated and sensitised? What appeals are made to the legal discourse of the victims and to the discourse of coexistence via education? What meaning do imported categories take on in the social, cultural and political fields? How did South African society confront making what happened in the past, with all its accumulated violence and long silences, intelligible? How are models which emerged in other national contexts adjusted to the reality of South Africa and the Basque Country? How are victims and their educational roles incorporated into the system? The roots of this project are to be found in my doctoral thesis on "The construction of social and territorial boundaries related to the institutionalisation and construction of Basqueness in the field of Basque nationalism". It focused on a study of institutions which teach in the Basque language, Euskera; the professional careers of specialists (civil servants, intellectuals, politicians, activists&) who formulate and implement (linguistic, territorial and identity) policies, categories and projects; and the civil population which is the subject and object of these practices; as well as an analysis of processes of re-adapting the limits and conceptions of identity linked to the influx of non-European Union immigration in the 21st century. The topics addressed evoke relentless efforts of production and investment in delimiting Basqueness through different inlets. Above all, this context is grounded in the elaboration of a Basque peace process.

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