10 – 10 – 10 Restitution Dialogues
Reference Another Country: Everyday Social Restitution – Sharlene Swartz
The following are questions that could be used in implementing a social restitution process. The process revolves around ten people, who are different to each other, meeting together over ten weeks (or a few more), and having ten conversations as set out below. Each heading describes a necessary step in the envisaged process.
Week 1: Establish a diverse group and have a conversation
- Who are we, and why are we here?
- What are we each going to have to do to make this group work?
- How will feelings of superiority and inferiority affect our conversation, and what can we do to overcome it in this group?
- What has been done so far to address the injustices of the past?
- What do you think will happen to South Africa if nothing more is done about the past?
Week 2: Discuss how you see South Africa
- What are the things in our country that make us despair, and what brings us hope?
- In the future, what kind of South Africa do we want to be living in?
- How far away are we from this vision of the future, and why is this so?
Week 3: Talk about the effects of past injustice on the present
- How has each of us been affected by South Africa’s past history of injustice?
- In what ways does the past still affect you today?
- Why is remembering the past important?
Week 4: Discuss the meaning of restitution and its potential
- What does the term ‘restitution mean to you?
- How do you respond to the two analogies of a stolen bicycle and an unlevel soccer field that try to describe what has happened in South Africa?
- What kind of things still need to be done to make restitution for the past?
Week 5: Discuss the difference between charity and restitution
- What is the difference between charity and restitution, and why is this difference important?
- What examples of restitution could we as a group consider doing?
- How are these actions different to charity?
Week 6: Locate all participants in the conversation about injustice
- How would you label yourself with regard to the past?
- How is this exercise helpful or unhelpful, and which labels are easy or difficult to talk about?
- How should the role of people calling themselves victims, perpetrators, bystanders, resisters and beneficiaries differ in restitution?
- How should Black and White South Africans’ roles in restitution differ?
Week 7: Discuss ideas for action to restore our damaged humanity
- What acts of restitution could we implement in each of the areas of remembering, restoring dignity, offering opportunity, and fostering belonging?
- What are our practical plans for each of these actions?
- What happens if we cant agree on what must be done?
Week 8: Make a plan for implementing and evaluating your ideas
- How are we going to implement our plans, and by when?
- How will we know when we have reached our goals for restitution, in this group, in South Africa?
- Do we need to take a break in meeting to talk until we have done something concrete in terms of social restitution?
- When will we next meet?
Week 9: Discuss attitudes needed for restitution and obstacles that might arise
- What attitudes do we need to have, and work on in this group, in order to make progress in restitution?
- What gets in the way of people making restitution?
- What lessons are we learning so far when it comes to restitution?
Week 10: Make plans for an ongoing project
- What new stories can we begin to tell about restitution in South Africa?
How do we want to continue after this meeting?