Katherine Hallemeier deposited Humanitarianism and the Humanity of Readers in FEMRITE’s True Life Stories in the group LLC African since 1990 on MLA Commons 4 years, 3 months ago
This paper examines three FEMRITE collections of ‘true life stories’, Today You Will Understand (2008), Farming Ashes (2009), and I Dare to Say (2012), all of which include testimony of women’s experiences of war in northern Uganda. While these volumes explicitly aim to abet a project of national awareness and reconciliation, they also self-consciously address themselves to Anglophone audiences in the global North. The nature of this address is distinct. On the one hand, the collections echo an international humanitarian discourse that tends to emphasize that personal testimony is, indeed, ‘true life’. On the other hand, the collections also foreground that the testimonies they present are imaginatively constructed accounts, or ‘stories’, that have been co-authored by FEMRITE writers and women who have lived through war. Non-African Anglophone readers are thus invited to engage with women’s testimony in terms that alternately recall and resist western media accounts of the northern Ugandan conflict.