Scars, Marked Bodies, and Suffering: The Mulele ‘Rebellion’ in Postcolonial Congo

Scars, Marked Bodies, and Suffering: The Mulele ‘Rebellion’ in Postcolonial Congo

Author: 
Kalema, Emery M.
Publisher: 
Cambridge University Press
Date published: 
2018
Record type: 
Journal Title: 
The Journal of African History
Source: 
The Journal of African History, Vol. 59, N0. 2, 2018 pp. 263-282
Abstract: 

This article examines the scars and marks left on the bodies of survivors of the Mulele rebellion (DR Congo), their signifying capacity, their relationship not only with the body but also with the uncertainty of time, the arresting of time, and the annihilation of future time that the scars and marks seem to both signify and put into effect by making the body useless, undesirable, and revolting to others. Drawing on extensive oral interviews and other forms of evidence, including scars and marks on the bodies of survivors, as well as a body of theory on psychoanalysis, continental mirror, time, laughter, and the gaze of others, this article argues that to be tortured during the rebellion was unimaginably terrible. But the suffering did not end there. There was something beyond that, something even more important that caused a kind of psychic suffering, which not only exceeded the physical, but also extended across time.

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Date created: 
Tuesday, March 5, 2019