SNF Nostos


Talk, Parallel sessions

"Naked but not ashamed": Ubuntu as the resilience of well-being of life until the end.

Friday June 23, 15:20, Alternative Stage GNO


In his talk, Christian Ntizimira delved into the idea of ubuntu by examining the case of the Rwandan genocide, which led to the loss of not only millions of people, but also of the sense of humanity. At the core of the concept of ubuntu lies the soul, which values the ideas of life, dignity, compassion, harmony and reconciliation. Ntizimira focused on the fact that when someone is healthy it belongs to themselves, but when somebody is in a bad condition it belongs to the family and becomes a community’s responsibility. Therefore, it is believed that patients are relieved through family support. However, the process towards the relief can sometimes involve various kinds of suffering, which are represented by animal metaphors. More specifically, in giraffe suffering, there is a distance between the patient’s needs and the abilities and expertise of the local community, therefore humility should be exerted from both parts. As far as hyena suffering is concerned, the source of conflict within the family often works as the source of social connection too. In this case, the search for the “lion” or “lioness,” who oversees the family, is required. Finally, the tortoise suffering represents an opportunity for redemption, therefore the choice of words is significant. As can be concluded from the above, an anthropo-psychological approach is needed for the comprehension of the community. Finally, Christian Ntizimira ended his talk by saying, “Though I cannot do anything, I must do something,” to emphasize the need for collective action. It becomes clear that the way in which individuals live reflects how the society lives as a whole.