Conjugal Slavery in War

The Conjugal Slavery in War Project (CSiW) is an interdisciplinary team of researchers and partners that explores the social and legal meaning of conjugal slavery or servile marriage in times of war and the implications of this gender violence in post-conflict situations. This SSHRC-funded Partnership Grant (2015-2021) documents cases of so-called forced marriage in conflict situations, places this data in historical context, and impacts the international prosecution of crimes against humanity as well as local reparations for survivors of violence. With the central participation of community-based organizations in Africa, the CSiW Partnership Project strengthens individual’s and organizations’ capacity to prevent violence, and advances understanding of the use of conjugal slavery as a tool of war through evidence-based research.

The exhibit “Ododo Wa: Stories of Girls in War” was born in 2019, following the long collaboration between Véronique Bourget (CSiW Project Coordinator), Isabelle Masson (Curator for the CMHR), Grace Acan and Evelyn Amony (memoirists and co-founders of the Women’s Advocacy Network in Uganda), and Professor Annie Bunting (CSiW Director). This temporary exhibit tells the story of Acan and Amony as they survived and continue to overcome living in captivity in Uganda, and seeks to create spaces for dialogues about survivors’ of sexual violence in wartime’s needs and experiences relating to reparative and restorative justie. The unique collaboration that brought this exhibit to life used a combination of drawings and artifacts to best tell Acan’s and Amony’s stories while simultaneously advocating for reparations for survivors.

This temporary exhibit is accompanied by a travelling version that was launched in uganda in 2019, which aims to expands conversations and dialogues on forced marriage and sexual violence. While the travelling exhibit has been launched in Uganda, the exhibit is set to travel through Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In the fall of 2019, the CSiW Scalar team began developing “Ododo Wa Community Dialogues” Scalar platform, which is set to accompany the travelling exhibit as it makes its way across different countries of Africa.

York University Libraries Digital Scholarship Centre

The Digital Scholarship Centre (DSC) is an accessible space that supports digital projects for the York University community. Librarians at the DSC have expertise in scholarly publishing, digitization, metadata, digital collections, digital scholarship, research metrics, data management, data curation, preservation, repositories, digital cultures and pedagogy, eLearning, and Open Educational Resources. It hosts workshops, panel discussions, and lectures related to the issues and practices surrounding digital scholarship, scholarly communications, and digital tools. This Open Access Web Platform Workshop series has been made possible through the DSC.

The support and expertise of the DSC’s librarians, including Anna St. Onge and Kris Joseph, as well as access to the Centre’s space, have been integral to the success of the “Community Dialogues” Scalar platform project. YUL’s DSC’s initial consultations supported York-Bertram’s work as a Graduate Assistant (GA), and Bourget’s work as CSiW project coordinator in relation to the Scalar project. The DSC hosted working sessions in the Centre where St. Onge and Joseph were available to consult. Many topics were discussed during the meetings at the Centre including a broad vision for the project, the capacity of the Scalar platform, compatible third-party platforms, advice on best practices, and direction on ethics. As the GA reviewed the resources compiled by the librarians on the Scalar web platform and practiced in the Sandbox or on the “Ododo Wa Community Dialogues” platform, the librarians were available to answer questions and troubleshoot. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck Toronto in March 2020, support was offered via email and Zoom meetings.

If you’re interested in developing a project that employs the use of ANVC’s Scalar platform, the KnightLab tools, or any other open access web platform available through York, please contact the DSC at or at

York University’s Innovation York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit

Innovation York’s Knowledge Mobilization (KMb) Unit is a national and international leader in knowledge mobilization. The KMb Unit has a suite of activities that create connections between researchers and community and government organizations in order to support the development of research partnerships and dissemination of research results. The Unit assists with the development of these relationships, in order to facilitate the creation of innovative research projects. York’s KMb Unit has promoted the Ododo Wa: Stories of Girls in War CMHR exhibit and the CSiW  project partnership. The KMb Unit was also consulted for the Open Access Web Platform Workshops events and supported the development of the “Ododo Wa Community Dialogues” Scalar Project.


CSiW 2021 workshops Copyright © 2021 by Sarah York-Bertram, Zhi Ming Sim, and Andrea Gonzalez. All Rights Reserved.

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