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Dr Eric Morier-Genoud Awarded B A Small Research Grant

Dr Eric Morier-Genoud has been awarded a British Academy Small Grant for his project ‘The Politics of War Commemoration in Mozambique`.

Eric has selected Mozambique for this study because of his extensive knowledge and previous research experience there. The project builds on an investigation he has conducted in recent years as part of a project on Armed conflicts in Africa (run by Science Po at the University of Bordeaux, France). Mozambique has undergone a military conflict from 1979 to 1992. While the armed conflict begun as a war of destabilisation initiated by neighbouring white regimes, it became a full-blown civil war by the mid-1980s as the guerrilla gained the support of social groups dissatisfied with the Socialist regime in place. Now that the conflict has come to an end, the present research aims at examining, first, the different types of memorials which have emerged as a result of the war and to investigate the reasons and ways in which they have been built (and are still being built). It aims, secondly, at observing and analysing commemoration ceremonies. The objective is to delve into the country`s recent past and contemporary politics in order to look at the ways in which a society deals with the consequences and inheritance of armed conflict as well as how this society builds a public memory of such events. Said differently, the project aims at a thick description of specific monuments and commemorations to understand how societies overcome trauma, remember war, and fixate particular aspects of a conflict into monuments and try to fixate a dominant public memory.

Dr Morier-Genoud is Thomas L. Hodgkin Research Fellow, Oxford Research Network on Government in Africa, St Cross College