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Transitional Justice Atmospheres. The Role of Space and Affect in the International Criminal Court’s Outreach Efforts in Northern Uganda

Normative Spaces and Legal Dynamics (Cover)

Normative Spaces and Legal Dynamics (Cover)

Bens, Jonas – 2020

This chapter describes the International Criminal Court’s outreach efforts in northern Uganda as the project of setting up affective arrangements in order to highlight the importance of the atmospheres that emerge during these events. It argues that the aim of the international criminal proceedings is to produce ‘transitional justice atmospheres’ and lists some strategies that are adopted towards achieving this purpose. The chapter shows that, sometimes, these transitional justice atmospheres ‘fail’, because the affective arrangement created is not sufficiently able to render invisible how intensely it is trying to engineer the atmosphere. Mostly people kept to their seats and seemed to follow the screened proceedings attentively, and most seemed to understand what was going on. When the prosecution described Dominic Ongwen’s crimes, one could see the reactions on people’s faces. The language in which the proceedings were being screened was a crucial component of the affective arrangement.

Transitional Justice Atmospheres
Bens, Jonas
DOI: 10.4324/9781003015734-4
Appeared in
Seidel, Elliesie (Ed.) 2020 – Normative Spaces and Legal Dynamics in Africa
Size or Duration
pp. 41–60