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Life after Violence: A People's Story of Burundi
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Life after Violence: A People's Story of Burundi

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  35 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Burundi recently emerged from twelve years of civil war. In this book, ordinary Burundians, farmers, artisans, traders, mothers, soldiers and students talk about the past and the future, war and peace, their hopes for a better life and their relationships with each other and the state. Young men, in particular, often seen as the cause of violence, talk about the difficulti ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published December 1st 2008 by Zed Books
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So this is the most useful book I could find about Burundi, (of the seven the library held.) It's essentially the summary of several hundred in-depth interviews conducted with Burundians in 2006 or so, delving into their opinion and experiences on everything from their personal life stories to their political opinions, worldviews and hopes and ambitions for the future. I expect the main criticism might be the synthesis Uvin does, boiling down hundreds of interviews into a few pages of a kind of ...more
Mar 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this a while ago, and just now have been reading an account of Liberia during its civil war, so it seemed like a good idea to post what I had written at the time.
This is a scholarly study presented in an approachable fashion, which surveyed Burundians and their attitudes a couple of years after the cessation of the civil war there, which occurred on and off for fifteen years, and included genocidal actions between the Tutsi and Hutu tribe members, comparable to the experience in Rwanda.
Apr 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Returned to this book again recently, as the "after violence" aspect of this title seems less and less applicable in today's Burundi. I found and still find this a helpful book for understanding a number of societal trends in post-peace accord Burundi. In hindsight, a number of the issues tackled by the book can be read from a new perspective.

Uvin consolidates the results of 388 2-hour, in-depth interviews with a cross-section of Burundians: men, women, youth, returnees, IDPs, former combatants,
Banu Altunbas
Jul 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
A very insightful and useful empirical study of understanding what average Burundians think about their lives, future, and peace. There is something for everyone to learn even if you have never been to Burundi. It gave me a lot of food for thought throughout the book. Recommended reading for conflict resolution, peacebuilding and development experts or wannabes.
Apr 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great research, but not the best literature. Recommended for students of modern Burundi more than those who want a narrative history
Jul 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Great book, super helpful and informative. Really helps illuminate the Burundian context.
Jul 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-africa
Quick read. Provides interesting insight into ordinary peoples views after the Burundian civil war. It also helps you understand the current political situation better.
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“One of the most striking observations emerging from our research in Burundi is the way people constantly maintain some form of relations across great chasms of violence, class, abuse, and absence. People have civil relations with the murderers of their families; husbands and wives, even after many years, can reconnect and share all again; refugees and IDPs return home, solving their own land conflicts in the process. And all of this happens against a background of stunning poverty. Burundi specialists decry the level of land conflicts, involving as many as 9 percent of all households in the province of Makamba, a center of return of refugees and IDPs: in many areas, as much as 80 percent of the current population consists of people who have just returned during the last few years. But this still means that an amazing 91 percent of the population is not party to any land conflict, and this in a country where every square foot of land is a matter of life and death.5 Let’s not forget: throughout the country, this means Hutu and Tutsi are living side by side again, for they were intermingled everywhere. How, then, do people manage to such an extent to reintegrate, after a decade of war, dislocation, and poverty?” 1 likes
“    We must pardon everyone because if not, it will be like we will have to punish all the population. We must pardon everyone because all ethnic groups did bad acts. (Thirty-eight-year-old female, Nyanza-Lac)” 0 likes
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