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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Witchcraft and violence in Ghana: an assessment of contemporary mediation efforts
Author:Roxburgh, Shelagh
Year:2016
Periodical:Cahiers d'études africaines (ISSN 0008-0055)
Volume:56
Issue:224
Pages:891-914
Language:English
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:witchcraft
violence
conflict resolution
Abstract:Witchcraft-related violence in West Africa is currently attracting significant international media attention. Often witchcraft-related violence is portrayed as a recent or increasing phenomenon, particularly in Ghana's Northern region where the infamous witch camps are located. These witch camps are often depicted as epitomizing violence against women and violence itself is characterized as the inevitable outcome of witchcraft belief. This paper problematizes this approach to witchcraft through an investigation of witchcraft as a complex, lived reality. Through this lens, the efforts of four institutions to mediate witchcraft in Ghana are assessed: the state, NGOs, religious organizations and traditional authorities. Based on interviews with these actors and victims of witchcraft-related violence, this paper highlights the fundamental epistemological conflict underlying contemporary interventions, which fail to address the spiritual insecurity that many Ghanaians experience on a daily basis. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]
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