Purity and Exile: Violence, Memory, and National Cosmology among Hutu Refugees in Tanzania
ISBN: 0226502724
EAN13: 9780226502724
Language: English
Publication Date: August 15, 1995
Pages: 374
Dimensions: 0.94" H x 9.00" L x 6.00" W
Weight: 1.40 lbs.
Format: Paperback

Purity and Exile: Violence, Memory, and National Cosmology among Hutu Refugees in Tanzania

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Book Overview
In this study of Hutu refugees from Burundi, driven into exile in Tanzania after their 1972 insurrection against the dominant Tutsi was brutally quashed, Liisa Malkki shows how experiences of dispossession and violence are remembered and turned into narratives, and how this process helps to construct identities such as Hutu and Tutsi. Through extensive fieldwork in two refugee communities, Malkki finds that the refugees' current circumstances significantly influence these constructions. Those living in organized camps created an elaborate mythico-history of the Hutu people, which gave significance to exile, and envisioned a collective return to the homeland of Burundi. Other refugees, who had assimilated in a more urban setting, crafted identities in response to the practical circumstances of their day to day lives. Malkki reveals how such things as national identity, historical consciousness, and the social imagination of enemies get constructed in the process of everyday life. The book closes with an epilogue looking at the recent violence between Hutu and Tutsi in Rwanda and Burundi, and showing how the movement of large refugee populations across national borders has shaped patterns of violence in the region.
Editor Reviews
From the Back Cover This book explores how essentialized categories of identity such as 'Hutu' and 'Tutsi' are produced through violence and exile. A pioneering study of statelessness and memory, this book is an important contribution to anthropology, history, and cultural studies.

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