Exchange to Change Sept 2017 20170911 E2C zomer web - Page 18

18 INTERVIEW

After Rape : Violence ,

Justice and Social Harmony in Uganda by Holly Porter
E2C : What is your background in development studies , and how did you end up joining IOB as a postdoctoral researcher ?
HP : I studied development studies as an undergraduate student in the United States at the University of Denver . After that , I began working as a development practitioner in Northern Uganda , where I thought ‘ if I find something that can hold my attention , something that I am really fascinated by and think is important , for more than 10 years , then I should do a PhD .’ And then I found that something , which was what I work on now : gender relationships , sexual violence , sexual norms , and how these intersect with post-war recovery and justice . I did a PhD which led to my first book , After Rape : Violence , Justice and Social Harmony
Exchange to change September 2017 in Uganda . After my PhD at the London School of Economics I continued there as a Research Fellow for the Justice and Security Research Programme in northern Uganda until December 2016 when that project was finishing up , I was offered the Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellowship to come and be hosted at IOB .
E2C : Your current project has the intriguing theme of “ Sex and War .” Can you tell us a bit more about this project ? What is the main issue you are addressing ?
HP : My first book focused mainly on sexual violence , but my current project moves beyond that and looks at the relationship between sex and war . Most work on the topic of sex and war is concerned with the terrible occurrence of sexual violence that oftentimes takes place during war ; there ’ s really evocative language that describes rape as a weapon of war , or talks about the female body being a battlefield . But there ’ s also many similarities with violence that happens before and after conflict . This project aims to explore the relationship between sex and war , in other words , the relationship between violence and what are considered ‘ normal ’ male and female relationships , particularly intimate and sexual relationships . It ’ s a study in Acholi that looks at changing dynamics of gender , sexuality , and relationships in this particular post-war context . It ’ s an ethnographic study on the impact of war on sexuality and gender .
E2C : Your work addresses experiences that are very sensitive and personal . Is it difficult to ask people to talk about such private issues ?
HP : It ’ s surprising , actually , how open people are to talk about these things even though they are really sensitive . One reason is that I have quite long term relationships with people here , they know that I understand the context as well as an outsider like me can . But I think most people like talking about sex ! Not just here but in general ; talking about relationships and sex is something that ’ s kind of fun and intriguing for a lot of people . I would tell people that I wanted to know about love in Acholi and how the war has changed relationships , and they ’ d laugh and say “ ohhh , love !” But people love talking about that stuff ! Even when it gets more sensitive or touches on issues of violence , I think people like to be given permission to bring things into light that normally have to remain hidden . This is especially true if they feel like they have been treated badly or have been wronged , but they don ’ t think that they ’ ll have a sympathetic ear from the people who are around them .
18 INTERVIEW After Rape: Violence, Justice and Social Harmony in Uganda by Holly Porter in Uganda. After my PhD at the London School of Economics I continued there as a Research Fellow for the Justice and Security Research Programme in northern Uganda until December 2016 when that project was finishing up, I was offered the Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellowship to come and be hosted at IOB. E2C: Your current project has the intriguing theme of “Sex and War.” Can you tell us a bit more about this project? What is the main issue you are addressing? E2C: What is your background in development studies, and how did you end up joining IOB as a post- doctoral researcher? HP: I studied development studies as an undergraduate student in the United States at the University of Denver. After that, I began working as a development practitioner in Northern Uganda, where I thought ‘if I find something that can hold my attention, something that I am really fascinated by and think is important, for more than 10 years, then I should do a PhD.’ And then I found that something, which was what I work on now: gender relationships, sexual violence, sexual norms, and how these intersect with post-war recovery and justice. I did a PhD which led to my first book, After Rape: Violence, Justice and Social Harmony E xchange to change S eptember 2017 HP: My first book focused mainly on sexual violence, but my current project moves beyond that and looks at the relationship between sex and war. Most work on the topic of sex and war is concerned with the terrible occurrence of sexual violence that oftentimes takes place during war; there’s really evocative language that describes rape as a weapon of war, or talks about the female body being a battlefield. But there’s also many similarities with violence that happens before and after conflict. This project aims to explore the relationship between sex and war, in other words, the relationship between violence and what are considered ‘normal’ male and female relationships, particularly intimate and sexual relationships. It’s a study in Acholi that looks at changing dynamics of gender, sexuality, and relationships in this particular post-war context. It’s an ethnographic study on the impact of war on sexuality and gender. E2C: Your work addresses experiences that are very sensitive and personal. Is it difficult to ask people to talk about such private issues? HP: It’s surprising, actually, how open people are to talk about these things even though they are really sensitive. One reason is that I have quite long term relationships with people here, they know that I understand the context as well as an outsider like me can. But I think most people like talking about sex! Not just here )ЁɅхЁɕѥ͡)͕́ͽѡѡӊéո)ɥեȁЁ$ݽձѕ)ѡЁ$݅ѕѼ܁Ёٔ)܁ѡ݅ȁ́)ɕѥ̰͡ѡe՝ͅ+qٔt Ёٔх)ѡЁՙ)ٕݡЁ́ɔ͕ͥѥٔ)ѽՍ́Օ́٥$ѡ)ѼٕɵͥѼɥ)ѡ́ѼЁѡЁɵ䁡ٔѼ)ɕQ́́Ք)ѡ䁙ѡ䁡ٔɕѕ)ȁٔɽЁѡ䁑e)ѡѡЁѡeٔѡѥ)ɽѡݡɔɽչѡ