Purity and Exile

Purity and Exile : Violence, Memory and National Cosmology Among Hutu Refugees in Tanzania

3.66 (86 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

This study of Hutu refugees from Burundi, driven into exile in Tanzania after their 1972 insurrection against the dominant Tutsi was brutally quashed, shows how experiences of dispossession and violence are remembered and turned into narratives, and how this process helps to construct identities such as "Hutu" and "Tutsi." Through extensive fieldwork in two refugee communities, the author finds that the refugees' current circumstances significantly influence these constructions. Those living in organized camps created an elaborate "mythico-history" of the Hutu people, which gave significance to exile, and envisioned a collective return to the homeland of Burundi. Other refugees, who had assimilated in a more urban setting, crafted identities in response to the practical circumstances of their day-to-day lives. Malkki reveals how such things as national identity, historical consciousness and the social imagination of "enemies" get constructed in the process of everyday life. The book closes with an epilogue looking at the recent violence between Hutu and Tutsi in Rwanda and Burundi, showing how the movement of large refugee populations across national borders has shaped patterns of violence in the region.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 374 pages
  • 152 x 228 x 22mm | 521.63g
  • The University of Chicago Press
  • University of Chicago Press
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • English
  • 2nd ed.
  • 10 maps
  • 0226502724
  • 9780226502724
  • 310,594

Back cover copy

This book explores how essentialized categories of identity such as 'Hutu' and 'Tutsi' are produced through violence and exile. A pioneering study of statelessness and memory, this book is an important contribution to anthropology, history, and cultural studies.show more

Rating details

86 ratings
3.66 out of 5 stars
5 22% (19)
4 34% (29)
3 34% (29)
2 9% (8)
1 1% (1)
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