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

  1. Who are we, and why are we here?
  2. What are we each going to have to do to make this group work?
  3. How will feelings of superiority and inferiority affect our conversation, and what can we do to overcome it in this group?
  4. What has been done so far to address the injustices of the past?
  5. 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

  1. What are the things in our country that make us despair, and what brings us hope?
  2. In the future, what kind of South Africa do we want to be living in?
  3. 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

  1. How has each of us been affected by South Africa’s past history of injustice?
  2. In what ways does the past still affect you today?
  3. Why is remembering the past important?

Week 4: Discuss the meaning of restitution and its potential

  1. What does the term ‘restitution mean to you?
  2. 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?
  3. What kind of things still need to be done to make restitution for the past?

Week 5: Discuss the difference between charity and restitution

  1. What is the difference between charity and restitution, and why is this difference important?
  2. What examples of restitution could we as a group consider doing?
  3. How are these actions different to charity?

Week 6: Locate all participants in the conversation about injustice

  1. How would you label yourself with regard to the past?
  2. How is this exercise helpful or unhelpful, and which labels are easy or difficult to talk about?
  3. How should the role of people calling themselves victims, perpetrators, bystanders, resisters and beneficiaries differ in restitution?
  4. How should Black and White South Africans’ roles in restitution differ?

Week 7: Discuss ideas for action to restore our damaged humanity

  1. What acts of restitution could we implement in each of the areas of remembering, restoring dignity, offering opportunity, and fostering belonging?
  2. What are our practical plans for each of these actions?
  3. What happens if we cant agree on what must be done?

Week 8: Make a plan for implementing and evaluating your ideas

  1. How are we going to implement our plans, and by when?
  2. How will we know when we have reached our goals for restitution, in this group, in South Africa?
  3. Do we need to take a break in meeting to talk until we have done something concrete in terms of social restitution?
  4. When will we next meet?

Week 9: Discuss attitudes needed for restitution and obstacles that might arise

  1. What attitudes do we need to have, and work on in this group, in order to make progress in restitution?
  2. What gets in the way of people making restitution?
  3. What lessons are we learning so far when it comes to restitution?

Week 10: Make plans for an ongoing project

  1. What new stories can we begin to tell about restitution in South Africa?

How do we want to continue after this meeting?