Healing through the Bones: Empowerment and the 'Process of Exhumations' in the Context of Cyprus

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Fics, Kristian Taxiarchis Phikas
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Inter-ethnic and intra-ethnic violent conflict created a divide in Cyprus (1950-1974) that still exists to this day. This study explores specifically an effect of violent conflict – Missing Persons – and the ‘process of exhumations,’ which is defined as; the recovery of Missing Persons, identification, and reunification of the Missing with loved ones as a key component of peacebuilding via inter-ethnic reconciliation and restorative justice. This process is important for peacebuilding because it empowers individuals, communities, and nation-states to satisfy basic human psycho-social needs in order to deal with the trauma of past violence, to recognize loss, and to seek closure of uncertainty to prevent the transgenerational transmission of trauma and escalation of violence between and within ethnic societies. By interviewing eight experts on the Cypriot conflict about what the ‘process of exhumations’ does in Cyprus, revealed the challenges and successes that may arise during and after the process for sustainable peace.
Cyprus conflict, Reconciliation, Missing persons, Restorative justice, Peacebuilding, Process of exhumations, Storytelling, Inter-ethnic, Trauma, Transgenerational transmission of trauma, Mourning, Burial, Grieving, Closure, Sustainable peace, Basic human needs, Psycho-social needs