Afghanistan: gender, silence and memory
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This article explores the juncture of gender and collecting memory in the context of Afghanistan and establishing accountability for past atrocities. After situating Afghan women in the context of past wars, it examines two projects in truth-telling following the ousting of the Taliban and what was termed as the transitional period. Providing a critical analysis, it argues that recalling and telling of the past from the bottomup approach has done little to break the prevailing culture of impunity and address the motivation of victims in participating and contributing to memory projects. By promoting truth-telling and giving meaning to collecting memory, the international community has focused on the production rather than representation of memory. Production for the external market rather than localised confrontation with the past to alleviate trauma has led to an increasing commoditisation of memory. As a result, women’s representation in relation to past wars have remained marginalised as victims. In conclusion, the article positions silence as a tool of local resistance to an ever-increasing popularisation in the globalised markets of memory and truth-telling.