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For God and My Life: War and Cosmology in Northern Uganda
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
2005 (English)In: No peace no war: An Anthropology of Contemporary Armed Conflict / [ed] Paul Richards, Athens: Ohio University Press, 2005, 98-116 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this chapter, I hold that today’s conflict in northern Uganda, although fought on local grounds, is international and even global in character. Worldwide flows of imagery, weaponry and humanitarian aid entangle with local socio-political realities, in a way typical for most small-scale and low-intensity wars at the turn of the millennium. Alliances on the regional level add to the complexity of local battle scenes. In the local discontent, my informants articulated these complexities. “The surroundings are bad”, they often said. In discussing important aspects of a life with bad surroundings, my chapter focuses on the local lifeworld, and on actions, interpretations and explanations that are essential to any understanding, academic or popular, of the conflict. In pursuing this aim I investigate how non-combatant people in the war zone understand and explain the rebels’ violent practices on the ground, but also how they relate to the fact that the international community has become increasingly and inescapably entangled with the politics and practices of war. On the existential level, I propose people actively practice a kind of knowing by engagement. To be able to highlight this I put emphasis on meanings in use. Such meanings are never fixed but negotiated in an interactive socio-cultural and political process of interpretation and counter-interpretation, including not only the most influential agents, like the rebel movement, the Ugandan government or international relief organisations, but also the ordinary people with direct experience of the war.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Athens: Ohio University Press, 2005. 98-116 p.
Keyword [sv]
krig, kosmologi, religion, Acholi, Uganda, LRA, LRM/A
National Category
Other Humanities
Research subject
Cultural Anthropology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-67579ISBN: 0-85255-935-6OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-67579DiVA: diva2:95490
Available from: 2004-12-14 Created: 2004-12-14 Last updated: 2014-11-05Bibliographically approved

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Finnström, Sverker
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