Vulnerability and Resilience: Women’s Narratives of Forced Displacement from Abkhazia
This chapter focuses on the lives of women forcefully uprooted from Abkhazia as a result of the armed conflict that emerged at the beginning of the 1990s. Based on ethnographic research and life-story interviews, this chapter listens to women’s voices as they reflect on their lives during and after the conflict, while living in a period of prolonged displacement. This chapter explores how these women’s past experiences and memories of armed conflict are linked to their present circumstances and to their lives in peaceful times, distanced from past violent events, yet characterized by the uncertainty caused by the protracted nature of their displacement. In particular, this chapter traces how these women have coped with extremes of change, and how the violent events of their past lives have become an inseparable part of the everyday by their descent into the ordinary (Das 2007). Although they were naturally vulnerable to crisis, it was the forms and tactics of everyday resilience during and after the armed conflict that allowed individuals to cope with and survive these traumatic events. By allying with the scholars who challenge the construction of human beings as either resilient or vulnerable/passive, this analysis attempts to offer new ways of conceptualizing this dichotomy through and exploration of internally displaced women.
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