chapter  3
24 Pages

Rupture, ‘the event’ and linearity in testimony: to the victor go the spoils

The contexts of victory and defeat constitute and limit the stories that can be told about conflict. In the previous chapter, I argued that moments of law-founding violence are placed at the centre of post-conflict consolidations of political authority and constitute the new hermeneutical horizon. The physical violence of the past is complicit with the limits placed upon politics in the present. Italian ex-militants have been deprived of the means to talk about the past – their testimonies struggled to render a cohesive or linear narrative – while, contrastingly, for ex-EOKA fighters the constitution of political discourse in Cyprus has enabled a different sort of testimony. The consequences of winning and losing a revolutionary struggle extend into decades of post-conflict politics – illuminating the relationship between politics and violence.