AAA/CASCA Executive Program Committee
Executive Session - Oral Presentation Session
The Mozambican civil war—which killed at least 1 million people—is usually approached as unfolding between 1976/77 and 1992. Furthermore, reflecting the Afro-socialist forms of experimentation in statehood that the country embarked following the 1975 independence, popular justice is usually considered as having ended around the mid-1980s, especially following the death of Mozambican president Samora Machelin 1986. As a country that has not been subjected to a conventional process of large-scale, state-driven restorative justice, and, thus, not adhered to many global templates of so-called reconciliation processes, Mozambique represents a unique case in which to re-think what irreconciliation might mean as a political horizon and as an analytical concept. Empirically, the paper approaches irreconciliation through drawing on the violent uprisings, skirmishes and lynchings of the last two decades which are events that, interlocutors hold, have brought back the specter of past wars, struggles and politics. Informed by how people in, particularly, Maputo and Chimoio understand these events, in this paper I will analytically draw on an assumption that the combined violences of the civil war and the era of popular justice, although starkly differing in many ways, both remain uncontained by conventional temporal linear delimitation. Thereby, this paper seeks to reflect on what a politics of irreconciliation might look like—including its relation to notions of justice—exploring also how a non-chronormativeapproach may contribute to such an analysis.