The Experience of War Conference

24.03.2023 09:30 - 16:30English

Open conference featuring different approaches and perspectives to understand what it means to be at war and how the experience of war is narrated and memorialised.

Photo: Livio Senigalliesi

Through historical, ethnographic, visual and comparative analysis, we will focus on the range of experiences and stories of those who fight, including soldiers, foreign fighters and members of armed groups.

Download the full conference programme

The Experience of War conference is free and open to all. Please be aware this conference will be held in-person only and will not be streamed. Food and refreshments to be provided.

This conference is part of the WARFUN project, led by Antonio De Lauri.


  • 09:30 Introduction
    Antonio De Lauri (Chr. Michelsen Institute)

Session 1 – Moderated by Antonio De Lauri

  • 09:50 Your Insurgency Is My Adventure: On the Quest for Experiences and Pleasures of War among Danish Combat Troops in Afghanistan and Iraq
    Thomas Randrup Pedersen (Royal Danish Defence College)
  • 10:10 The Pleasures of War
    Jacqueline Dent (University of Sydney)
  • 10:30 The Tensions of War: Frustration and Pleasure in the Green Zones of Baghdad and Mogadishu
    Helle Malmvig and Jethro Norman (Danish Institute for International Studies)

10:50 Q&A and discussion

11:10 Coffee break

Session 2 – Moderated by Heidi Mogstad 

  • 11:20 Soldier Humour and Agency
    Eva Johais (Chr. Michelsen Institute)
  • 11:40 Boko Haram’s “Playground”: Fun, Love, and Positive Feelings Among Children Associated with Armed Groups in Nigeria
    Luigi Achilli (European University Institute/Chr. Michelsen Institute)
  • 12:00 Have I Killed Someone? Meaning Making by German Soldiers after Combat in Afghanistan
    Maren Tomforde (German Armed Forces Staff College)
  • 12:20 Neretva and Sutjeska in Horror and Magic of Individual Remembrances
    Iva Jelusic (Chr. Michelsen Institute)

12:40 Q&A and discussion

13:00 Lunch break

Session 3 – Moderated by Eva Johais

  • 14:00 Gods, Guns and Sex Toys: Pleasure and Militancy in the Everyday Lives of Shia Militants in the Middle East
    Younes Saramifar (Vrije Universiteit)
  • 14:20 Sex in War Trenches: Humane, Mutuality and Reciprocity in the Democratic Republic of Congo War
    Godfrey Maringira (Sol Plaatje University)
  • 14:40 Better than sex? Norwegian Soldiers’ Experiences of Thrill and Pleasure in Afghanistan
    Heidi Mogstad (Chr. Michelsen Institute)

15:00 Q&A and discussion

15:20 Coffee break

Session 4 – Remote presentation – Moderated by Iva Jelusic 

  • 15:30 Understanding the Pleasures of War Media
    Catherine Lutz (Brown University)

16:00 Q&A and conclusion

16:30 Refreshments

Register here to attend

Event info.

Bergen Global
Jekteviksbakken 31, Bergen

09:30 - 16:30
Add to calendar 24.03.2023, 24.03.2023

Bergen Global is a joint initiative between the University of Bergen and Chr. Michelsen Institute that addresses global challenges.