The group of researchers who participated in the Bukavu Workshop

The Bukavu Series

How do you conduct research in a conflict setting, under uncertain security conditions, or in a post-conflict environment? What place does the researcher’s vulnerability occupy in debates about knowledge production? How do you work on sensitive subjects and go on living and not harming others? How do you reconcile a passion for research with family life? Should research nourish the researcher, or is it up to the researcher to nourish the research? Publish and be done with it? What is the role of power dynamics in the production of academic knowledge? Is true academic collaboration between researchers from the Global North and South possible amid prevailing power dynamics?

These questions and many others lie at the heart of these (Silent) Voices “Bukavu Series” blog posts. They stem from reflections on ethical issues in fieldwork in conflict and post-conflict settings, and on the place and vulnerability of the researcher in such settings. The ideas conveyed in these blog posts serve as an indictment of the premeditated violence that persists in the process of academic knowledge production. They argue that this process is, among other things, responsible for the dehumanization and the erasure of researchers from the Global South.

The “Bukavu Series” is the result of a collaboration between the Land Rush Programme, spearheaded by the Institut Supérieur de Développement Rural de Bukavu, and three partners of the Governance in Conflict network: the Université Catholique de Louvain, the Groupe d’études sur les conflits-Sécurité Humanitaire, and Ghent University.