Génocide des Tutsis au Rwanda: Quand le viol des femmes est utilisé pour annihiler l'origine même de la vie et de la pensée

Translated title of the contribution: Genocide of the Tutsis in Rwanda: When the rape of women is used to annihilate the very origin of life and thought

Patrick Rwagatare, Jean Luc Brackelaire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Rape was used systematically as a dreadful weapon at the heart of the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda. The cruelty accompanying the sexual violences relied specifically on taboos which were at the very heart of the society, thus turning the culture against itself (Godard, 2014). The present article deals with the experiences lived by the women victims of these wretched acts, perpetrated in such a context. They bear the mark of an invisible and secret destruction of the very place of fecundation, of the inner space where life and thought germinate (Altounian, 2000). Their testimonies are given and gathered in the context of a research-action taking place via support groups. Within this clinical work plan, the women encountered try to renew ties with their origins and the thought annihilated by rape with a view to genocidal extermination. Their accounts testify to this work of re-origination and recovery of a personal thought, of these women's re-appropriation of their history to begin it again. At personal risk to themselves, individually, and as a group, they grapple with the (re)creation of their own person and a female collective. The article shows how such a process notably involves the mythical elaboration of a familial origin set against the very disappearance of the family; a shared, perilous yet vital attempt at personal and social recovery, of lived events which have prevented life, which repeat themselves between generations and which one tries to recognize and transmit in re-elaborating history as of today; and a voyage via shared thought and words of experiences of death undergone during the rapes and other sexual violences during the genocide.

Translated title of the contributionGenocide of the Tutsis in Rwanda: When the rape of women is used to annihilate the very origin of life and thought
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)165-189
Number of pages25
JournalCahiers de Psychologie Clinique
Volume45
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

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