Accepted paper:

Social resilience in a context of war: the case study of Humpata municipality in the Huila Province, Angola


Maria de Fátima (ISCTE-IUL)

Paper short abstract:

After the independence Angola has gone through a long period of war resulting in a situation of religious, political, economic and social strain. The research intends to analyze the resilience of rural societies in Southern Angola, in particular of Humpata.

Paper long abstract:

The discussion is framed around the civil war period that took place in the post- independence period. The study of the Humpata municipality focuses on aspects of social resilience of the population of the Muila ethnic group. This part of the research centered on social dynamics understood as constraints, as well as on the different family lineages dynamics constructed by the rural populations to enable their survival in the presence of new actors in their territory. The study contemplates the analysis of foreign military presence in the Humpata, namely the Cuban troops, the troops of the Namibian movement SWAPO, and South African troops. We also make reference to other populations that settled in the region - people from elsewhere, displaced by the war, whose presence was also a factor of adversity. We analyze the forms of relationship between the different foreign troops and local populations, as well as between the latter and the displaced persons - their reciprocal influence, coming from the multiple exchanges that took place in this particular context. The different constraints have sometimes produced disparate configurations. These populations have sought, through the interaction with the new social actors, to develop strategies of maximizing the opportunities offered by the context. It resorts to qualitative research methods privileged in the areas of sociology and anthropology. It is a case study which gives priority to empirical results, highlighting the fact that in an adverse context the Humpata rural populations managed to prevent collapse. Key Words: Social Resilience, Rural Populations, War, Angola

panel P035
Angola in the aftermath of civil war: overcoming the impacts of protracted violence