On January 21st, at the University of Khartoum, Dr Katarzyna Grabska presented her book “Gender, Home & Identity: Nuer repatriation to Southern Sudan” (James Currey, 2014).
This book launch was organized with the support of CEDEJ Khartoum and the University of Khartoum.
How and where did returning Nuer refugees make their ‘homes’ in South Sudan? How were gender relations and identity redefined as a result of war, displacement and return to post-war communities? And how were those displaced able to recreate sense of home, community and nation?
During the civil wars in Southern Sudan (1983-2005) many of the displaced Sudanese, including many Nuer, were in refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia. In the aftermath of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, they repatriated to Southern Sudan. Faced with finding long-lost relatives and local expectations of ‘proper behaviour’, they often felt displaced again.
This book follows the lives of a group of Nuer in the Greater Upper Nile region. The narratives of those displaced and those who stayed behind reveal the complexity of social change and show how this has impacted on state formation in what is now South Sudan and, in particular, the crucial yet relatively unconsidered transformation of gender and generational relations.
Katarzyna Grabska is a research fellow with the Department of Anthropology and Sociology of Development and a project leader with the Global Migration Centre at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. She is co-editor (with Lyla Mehta) of Forced Displacement: Why Rights Matter? (Palgrave 2008) and author of numerous articles and book chapters. She is an affiliate of French Research Centre in Khartoum (CEDEJ) and Ahfad University for Women in Omdurman.◼