Making meaning of women's persistence and protagonism in the wake of genocidal violence: Maya Ixil and K’iche’ women of Chajul, Guatemala

M. Brinton Lykes, Gabriela Távara, Catalina Rey-Guerra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Fifteen Maya Ixil and K’iche’ women of Chajul, Guatemala, were interviewed 17 years after publishing their feminist participatory action photovoice research. Their book documents gross violations of human rights during nearly 36 years of armed conflict and their memories of survivance and persistence. A constructivist grounded theory analysis of in-depth interviews with these Maya Ixil and K’iche’ women contributed to the authors’ “bottom up” meaning making of the women's narratives – stories that reflect memories of participatory, community-based workshops and community actions in the wake of genocidal violence. The latter included performances of: presence despite absences; profound losses amidst ongoing suffering; renewed and transformative engagement with traditional beliefs and practices; women's protagonism evidenced through enhanced skills; new capacities performed in multiple contexts within and beyond their community's borders. We analyze these narratives of protagonism and persistence to elucidate some of the multiple contributions of long-term feminist community-based accompaniment and participatory processes as resources for rethreading life and wellbeing in the wake of war.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-235
Number of pages21
JournalFeminism and Psychology
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2023

Keywords

  • Chajul – Guatemala
  • Mayan women
  • feminist participatory action research
  • post-conflict transitions
  • psychosocial wellbeing

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