Bayreuth African Studies Working Papers
- English (4) (remove)
- Facheinheit Ethnologie (4) (remove)
- Theory and Practice of Reconciliation in Rwanda (2009)
- During recent years, scholars working on the peacebuilding process in Rwanda have often tended to single out specific aspects, for instance judicial responses to the genocide. Little research has been done, however, on the diversity of approaches that constitute the “reconciliation landscape” in Rwanda today. Basing itself on data from field research in 2006, this paper seeks to shed some light on the many programmes carried out in Rwanda related to reconciliation work. Emphasis is put on two case studies. While establishing a theoretical framework of the reconciliation process in the first part of the paper, the following chapters attempt to explain how this relates to the practice of reconciliation in the Rwandan context. The data collected suggest that in the face of political constraints, the Rwandan government must in part rely on civil society actors for the achievement of their goals of “unity and reconciliation”. The multitude of initiatives from actors with a wide range of motivations and approaches should be seen as complementary, while some may have to make up for the shortcomings and constraints of others.
- 5 (2007)
- Trade unions and the informal economy in Zambia: Building strength or loosing ground? (2007)
- The increasing casualisation of labour forces trade unions globally to deal with a growing number of unprotected and unrepresented workers in what is dubbed by the unions, even if critically, as the informal economy. This paper assesses the impact and further potential of a direct and indirect intervention of the Zambian labour movement towards the informal economy, according to basic criteria like skills development, networking, innovation capacity and access to finance for micro-entrepreneurs. Through providing business development services, the unions also encourage informal sector organizations to associate themselves with Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), thereby strengthening the socio-political representation of the informal economy workers and the labour union movement as a whole. It still remains to be seen, however, to which extent NGO-like approaches that seem to be vital when opening towards the informal economy might compromise basic principles of the labour movement like effective, yet democratic and transparent structures based on mass membership.
- 4 (2005)
- Negotiating Performance: Osun in the Verbal and Visual Metaphors (2005)
- Ajibade Olusola’s thesis examines the dialectics of the localization and globalisation of the Osun cult, while appreciating its transformation into a deity of international repute. In understanding the transformation of Osun cult into a deity of national and international repute, the study investigates the roles of motifs and visual arts that were found to be crucial to the transformation process. In the analysis and interpretation of the data, the study identifies Osun as a personification of Yoruba women. This was evidenced in the materials collected, particularly the motifs and the visual arts, and equally discernible in the oral and other primary sources. Both the poetry and visual arts emerged as conceptual paradigms to project the power, prowess and image of Osun as a deity in the Yoruba pantheon of Orisa (deities). His analysis facilitates and enhances our understanding of the faith, fate, philosophy, perceptions and attitudes of the adherents of Osun cult in relation to its impact on the people locally and globally. It also reveals the intricate interplay between the verbal (word) and the visual (image) domains in Yoruba aesthetic practice. Negotiating Performance explicates the transformation of Osun cult in Osogbo from a local to an international phenomenon, principally through the slave trade of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and also through the appreciation of Osun visual art by an ever-growing international audience.
- 3 (2005)
- East African Muslims After 9/11 (2005)
- Much has been said about 9/11, but little research has been done on the impact the events had on Africa. This paper explores how Muslims in East Africa view the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Particular attention will be given to the case of Kenya. What were the effects and consequences of 9/11 for Muslim communities there? How do they perceive the "war on terrorism", how did the changing configuration of geopolitics in the aftermath of 9/11 affect their lives and attitudes? What are the future prospects of Christian- Muslim understanding in East Africa? The paper argues that the initial sentiment of sympathy with the victims has been replaced by the rise of anti-American attitudes among the East African Muslim population. Although this tendency will probably continue as long as policy makers think of anti-Americanism in terms of an "image problem", the impact of 9/11 on East Africa will in the long run not depend on global issues, but on the course of political and religious developments on the national and local levels.