Natacha Nsabimana is Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the College and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago. She received her doctorate from Columbia University in 2017.
Broadly construed, Natacha Nsabimana’s research and teaching interests include law and subjectivity, postcolonial critique, musical movements and the cultural and political worlds of African peoples on the continent and the diaspora.
The Day after Tomorrow: Waiting for the Future in Contemporary Rwanda
Based on ethnographic research in Rwanda, this project is interested in the increasingly hegemonic language of thinking end-of-war social milieux in terms of transition. The logic of justice as transition, the proponents of this model argue, is to focus on bringing the belligerents together and to forge ahead together in unity, as opposed to taking the vengeance route. In this transitional form, the courts are imagined as the main loci for reparation but as cathartic spaces as well. They repair the injured and release us all from collective violence by reprimanding the acts, forgiving them, remembering them.
This project will examine this entanglement of private affects with large political processes inherited from a global language of remembrance as a preventive measure. How do individuals negotiate this intimacy with state practices? What is it that the law promises or perhaps conjures up? Understandably, given its recent and current history, this region of the world is predominantly known for political violence. Often omitted in this conversation however, are how individuals navigate their difficult social circumstances and still manage to live complicated but nonetheless politically engaged lives. My hope is that with this project, we as scholars can begin to understand how one lives in a world in which political violence has been normalized and yet remains so spectacular.