New Book: The Limits of Trauma Discourse – Women Anfal Survivors in Kurdistan-Iraq

1 06 2015

STUDIEN34Karin Mlodoch

Klaus Schwarz Verlag, 2015

9783879977192 

This book addresses one of the most heinous crimes of Saddam Hussein’s Baath regime in Iraq, the so-called Anfal opera­tions against the Kurdish popu­la­tion in 1988: within a few months, thou­sands of villages were destroyed; up to 182,000 men and women abducted and murdered; tens of thou­sands of civi­lians were detained and later forcibly resettled. Based on long­stan­ding work expe­ri­ence with women Anfal survi­vors in the Germyan region of Kurdistan-Iraq, the author explores their psycho­so­cial situa­tion and coping stra­te­gies over more than twenty years until today. She docu­ments the women’s long path from victims to survi­vors, their struggle for truth, justice, and acknow­led­ge­ment, and their conf­licts with both the hege­monic Kurdish national victim­hood discourse and Iraqi national stra­te­gies in dealing with the past. The rese­arch gives an excep­tional long-term psycho­lo­gical perspec­tive on coping with extreme violence and loss, beyond common discourses of trauma and “hea­ling”. It links psycho­lo­gical trauma rese­arch to memory studies and the broader debate on social and political recon­struc­tion in post-conf­lict socie­ties.

Karin Mlodoch is a psycho­lo­gist and co-founder of the German NGO HAUKARI e.V. that assists women victims of political and social violence in Kurdistan-Iraq. From 2008 to 2011, she was a rese­arch fellow at the Zentrum Moderner Orient.

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