War machines operate around the globe, and child soldiers have been found serving in Colombia, in Sri Lanka, in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as in several countries in Africa. The figure that features most commonly in documentaries, films, on talk shows, and in published memoirs and works of fiction, however, is the African child soldier.

Only just come across this article: Maureen Moynagh. “Human Rights, Child-Soldier Narratives, and the Problem of Form”:

This essay speaks to recent debates in the literature of human rights by focusing on the figure of the African child soldier. I argue that the child-soldier figure represents a kind of limit-case for human rights discourse. Reading memoirs by former child-soldiers and memoir-style novels by the writers Ahmadou Kourouma, Uzodinma Iweala, Emmanuel Dongala, and Chris Abani, I contend that these works mobilize sentiment, Bildung, and the picaresque in their effort to negotiate and contest both the “politics of life” of humanitarian intervention and the necropolitical formations that produce child soldiers.


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