Radicalising resilience: mothering, solidarity, and interdependence among women survivors of war

Saturday 20 May 2023

Berry, Marie E. 2022. In Journal of International Relations and Development. 1-21.

This article offers a reformulation of the concept of resilience. Marie E. Berry brings into question the neo-liberal and individualised idea(l)s of resilience, especially considering conflictual areas where survivors are almost admired for their inner resilience. In this discussion, Berry draws on the interviews that she has conducted with over 400 women from harmed areas such as Serbia/Bosnia, Rwanda, Nepal, Palestine, and Israel. In particular, she shines a light on the three cornerstones of resilience; mothering; solidarity; and interdependence. These three aspects are vital and show how care, compassion, and love coexist with and support individuals in the wake of violence. In sum, Berry draws our attention to the resilience of women survivors of war, both as individuals and mutually supporting communities. When reformulating resilience, Berry avoids ‘romanticising’ the women survivors’ abilities to resist and persist. Instead, she recognises that they are merely living their lives. This article offers a different perspective on the concept of ‘resilience’, which on any path towards peace, recognising the resilient practices of care and self-love are essential in providing a local approach to building peace. 

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