Roxanne Krystalli writes about home and away, memory and loss, grief and the narration of suffering.
Her professional work unfolds at the intersection of gender, violence, and transitional justice. Roxanne’s PhD research analyzes the politics of victimhood in Colombia, where she asks what the status of ‘victim’ means to those who vie for it, refuse it, contest it, or accord it. Her pursuits are united by a commitment to shedding light on why and how some lives are made less grievable, with implications for people’s experiences of (in)security, (in)justice, and peace.
She is currently based at Feinstein International Center, where she is the Program Manager of the Humanitarian Evidence Program, an initiative to synthesize evidence-based research in the humanitarian sector and communicate the findings to decision-makers, with the ultimate goal of improving humanitarian policy and practice. Her most recent project has involved co-managing an in-depth study on the journeys of refugees through Greece, Jordan, Turkey, and Denmark.
Prior to this position, she has served as a researcher, advisor and consultant on issues related to gender and conflict for various UN agencies, international organizations, and community-based groups. This has involved working with ex-combatants, victims and survivors of violence, and fellow researchers and humanitarian practitioners in Egypt, Pakistan, Colombia, Israel and the Palestinian Territories, Uganda, Sudan, Guatemala, Mexico, and other areas. Roxanne graduated with a BA from Harvard University and an MA from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and is currently pursuing a PhD at The Fletcher School.
Roxanne has written and spoken on the issues of gender, conflict, storytelling, and research on questions of violence in various venues and portals, including The Washington Post, the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, The Conversation and others.
Narratives and memory in the aftermath of violence, patterns of violence in mass atrocities, and gender and power analyses of the above are key themes permeating Roxanne’s current work. At the core of her research is an attempt to understand the experience of victimhood in the context of armed conflict: how victims of conflict cope and seek to recover in the aftermath of violence, and how victim response mechanisms, from reparations to memory initiatives, can take these experiences into account. Roxanne is also curious about what it means to be a researcher and humanitarian practitioner who focuses on questions of violence and suffering, and, therefore, how to ask these questions respectfully and mindful of responsibilities to those affected by violence. Dilemmas of ethical research, agency, voice, and storytelling underpin all these pursuits.
Roxanne has been recognized as a P.E.O. International Peace Scholar, a recipient of the Presidential Award for Citizenship and Service at Tufts University, a fellow at the Social Science Research Council, a US Institute of Peace-Minerva scholar, an Ogunte Featured Female Social Innovator, and a TEDx speaker. Stories of Conflict and Love was named one of the 18 best blogs and websites of 2013.
Roxanne was born and raised in Thessaloniki, Greece, and she has yet to meet a panda bear she hasn’t loved.