Voices of Hope from the Shadows of War: Accounts of Peace in the Life-Stories of Young People in Afghanistan

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 16:36
Location: Seminarraum Geschichte 1 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Phil C. LANGER, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universitat Frankfurt, Germany
In war settings children and adolescents are usually among those who are most affected by violence. In Afghanistan, a country that has been shaped by war for decades and that is currently facing a dramatic increase in the level of violence, more than two thirds of the population is younger than 24 years. Due to a lack of political representation, their voices are marginalized. If one is interested in the societal potential of peace, one has to look at this next generation. This presentation is based upon a qualitative research project with young people in the Northern provinces of the country. It is aimed at understanding how experiences of everyday violence affect identity constructions, visions of society, and social agency of young people, by using narrative interviews and drawings. Despite traumatizing experiences of violence that are reflected in the empirical material, accounts of a peaceful future are elaborated and their contributions to powerful discourses that influence political decision-making processes are discussed.