On July 28, we had a session on Transitional Justice which I find extremely interesting. The part that I find most interesting is its component of trauma healing. Professor Rubenstein brought up the case in the Philippines where they used local healing as part of trauma healing in their “post-conflict”. This suggests that it is extremely important to take local conditions into account and it is extremely important to know see peacebuilders as “expertise” who bring peace but rather use local traditions as a source of expertise and take it from there. It also tells us that transitional justices can take place in and should take into account so many different forms. We also touched upon the importance of memories. Rubenstein pointed out that the act of mourning (and thus reinforcing the memories) could also prolong the process of trauma healing, especially for people who are directly affected by the conflict. This poses an interesting dilemma – how do individuals heal and remember without simply forgetting?

The conversations we had in class about different violent injustices done by the government kept make me thinking about China and the Cultural Revolution that took place more than 30 years ago. The violent ten years of pure chaos completely destroyed many families and the futures of many people. Yet, China never truly achieved or even attempt to achieve “positive peace”. The histories of cultural revolution were simply left behind and many direct victims never received the justice that they deserved. While China praises today itself for its “economic development”, it almost felt to me that the government is using development as a way to buy off “peace” (similar to many other countries).