Emery M. Kalema, “The Mulele “Rebellion”: Bodily Pain and the Politics of Death (Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1963-1968) in Politique africaine Volume 163, Issue 3, July 2021, pages 145 to 172
This article discusses the various acts of “giving death” during the Mulele rebellion (1963–1968), the pain and suffering these actions caused, and the politics underpinning them, as recalled by survivors. Drawing on extensive oral interviews and an archive of materials created during the rebellion, as well as a body of psychoanalytic and phenomenological theory, the article argues that the rebellion in its most extreme manifestation and the Congolese state had a particular way of inflicting pain and suffering on the bodies of their subjects, their enemies. The way this pain and suffering were administered was a product of a form of hybridization that relied heavily on the triple logic of cruelty, excess, and sadism. It consisted in seizing people, torturing them, and pursuing them beyond all suffering. This system had huge consequences for both the dead and the living: on the one hand, it led to the emergence of an entangled relationship between them, while on the other, it condemned the living to carry the dead with them throughout their lives as a heavy, inseparable burden.