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Fieldwork in and Research on Sierra Leone
In the summer of 2007, I spent nine weeks in Sierra Leone conducting interviews with former RUF-combatants and community people, exploring how former fighters were reintegrating into civilian life. I enquired about local notions of justice, punishment, revenge, forgiveness and reconciliation as well as observing every-day interactions between former fighters and their neighbors. My research took me to the South-East, the town of Kenema and the diamond fields of Tongo; the northern towns of Makeni and Magburaka; and the eastern suburbs of the capital Freetown.
I returned to Sierra Leone in Spring 2009 to conduct further interviews and a small-scale survey for my doctoral thesis, which deals with intergenerational relations and conflict more generally and the empowerment of youth in the political, economic and social sphere at community level in specific. This time around I travelled to the very east, Kailahun town, and did further research in eastern Freetown. My research assistant Musa went on to conduct fieldwork in Kono, Pujehun, Makeni and Magburaka for me.