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Past Imperfect: Strategies for Dealing With Past Political Violence in Northern Ireland, South Africa, and Countries in Transition

Hamber, Brandon
June 4, 2015

Source: (1999) Paper prepared to be presented at TRC : Commissioning the Past. Witz University 11-14 June 1999. Downloaded 3 March 2004.

There is no prescriptive or single method that should be used for dealing with the
past. The interplay between remembering, forgetting and moving on after decades
of violence is complex and country specific. Forgetting and drawing a line
through the past, it could be argued, is as much a method for dealing with the past
as remembering and truth recovery. In South Africa for example, contrary to
popular belief, remembering and forgetting have marched a line very close to one
another. On one hand the African National Congress (ANC) government has
stressed the importance of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), but
at the same time it has always hoped that it would be a focused and short-term
remembering project. (excerpt)


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