Friederike Bubenzer is Senior Project Leader in the Peacebuilding Interventions Programme at the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation. In this capacity she contributes to peacebuilding, social cohesion and reconciliation processes with policy makers and civil society leaders across the continent. She coordinates IJR’s annual Transitional Justice in Africa Fellowship and Alumni Programme. Since 2015 Ms. Bubenzer has been leading a research project on the interconnectedness between mental health and psycho-social support (MHPSS) and peace building. The hypothesis underlying this study is that individuals and communities are likely to continue to be caught in cycles of violent conflict unless historical and intergenerational trauma is acknowledged and integrated into long-term post-conflict reconstruction and social transformation efforts. Ms Bubenzer is also the IJR coordinator of a collaborative project between IJR and Prof Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela at the University of Stellenbosch titled ‘Trauma, Memory and Representations of the Past’ which seeks to understand manifestations of intergenerational trauma in South Africa. She is the co-editor of two books: ‘These are the things that sit with us’ with Pumla Gobodo Madikizela and Marietjie Oelofsen (Jacana 2019) and ‘Hope, Pain and Patience: The Lives of Women in South Sudan’ with Orly Stern (Jacana, 2011). She is passionate about using inclusive dialogue and courageous conversations to address social justice issues in conflict-affected societies.
Ms. Bubenzer holds an MPhil in Development Studies and Social Transformation from the University of Cape Town and undergraduate degrees in International Relations from the University of Stellenbosch. She is a fellow of Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights’ Association for Historical Dialogue and Accountability