The role of "meta-narratives" in restorative justice processes: sketches from experience

Claudia Mazzucato, Guido Bertagna

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroChapter


The purpose of this paper is to convey the Authors’ personal experience in the use of ‘meta-narratives’—literature, poetry, cinema, music, and the arts in general—in restorative processes and to discuss the possible truth-telling mechanisms and the chances offered to reconciliation engendered—or fostered—, in restorative justice, by narration, literature and the arts. Referring to Arendt, Foucault, Ricoeur, Calvino, and other scholars and drawing several examples from cinema (Dardennes brothers), literature (Kafka), and Biblical narrative, the Authors explain how ‘meta-narratives’ can work in restorative processes as metaphors connecting meanings from one field of experience to another. During a ten-year-long reconciliation process that the Authors contributed to facilitating among Italian victims of political violence and former members of armed groups, meta-narratives have been used on multiple occasions: Literature, poetry, cinema, music, and arts helped the parties to access more rapidly and smoothly the common ground of humanity, without insisting on the long and tiring detours of analysing single historical facts. Meta-narratives have been used by facilitators as… ‘facilitators’.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteArte en Prisión. Justicia Restaurativa a Través de Proyectos Artísticos y Narrativos
Numero di pagine33
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2020


  • Exemplarity (philosophy)
  • Literature, poetry, cinema, music, arts and justice
  • Narration and restorative justice
  • Parrēsia, truth telling


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