How do children of survivors or perpetrators of gross human rights abuses deal with the legacies they have been given?
This is one of the issues which will come under the spotlight at the Beyond Reconciliation: Dealing with the aftermath of Mass Trauma and Political Violence conference which takes place at UCT from 2 to 6 December.
The conference is a further reflection on South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission process, which was the subject of a similar conference in 2006.
Co-organiser and UCT psychology Professor Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, who served on the TRC, says the conference will examine the effects within countries which have used a TRC-type process to deal with reconciliation.
Conference papers include research on post-conflict communities and reconciliation in societies with a history of mass trauma and genocide, struggles with memory, refugees and their children, and justice for victims.
Gobodo-Madikizela says a large German delegation will attend, reflecting the "interesting link between our work on reconciliation and the German story". The delegation will include the sons and daughters of Nazi perpetrators and Holocaust survivors which will highlight "inter-generational issues" such as the effect on younger generations of reconciliation.
There will also be a focus on xenophobia in South Africa.
"We are conscious of the social responsiveness element and the conference will also be looking at ongoing work within communities by scholars in their fields."
A special public dialogue event, Reconciliation in South Africa: Are things falling apart? will take place on Friday, 4 December at 17.30. Speakers include former Vice-Chancellor Dr Mamphela Ramphele, University of Stellenbosch political scientist Professor Amanda Gouws, University of the Orange Free State Vice-Chancellor Prof Jonathan Jansen and Professor Antjie Krog of the University of the Western Cape.
The public dialogue event will include the presentation of an International Award for Love and Forgiveness to Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
All proceedings of the conference, including the public events, will take place at Kramer Building on Middle Campus.
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