Breaking the Cycle of Violence in Mali with Stephen Esquith

Join Professor Stephen Esquith for a talk on February 8, 2024, at the International Center from 12PM-1:30PM in Room 303. You can also register for the Zoom Webinar here. All are welcome, and lunch will be provided!

About the talk: In many countries, in the Global North and South, war crimes tribunals have been convened to prosecute perpetrators of past human rights violations; and truth and reconciliation commissions have tried to repair the harm done to victims, their families and community by mass violence. These top-down initiatives, along with local bottom-up informal courts and unofficial peace pacts, typically have not been able to break the cycle of violence. This seems to be the case in Mali where self-referral to the ICC and its own national courts have not led to significant prosecutions of human rights violations, and the Malian Commission for Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation has not yet come up with significant reparations. One major reason for these failures is that the conflicts are too emotionally charged for progress to be made locally or nationally on what justice requires and how peace can be built. Cycles of violence between armed groups, government forces, and civilians continue. This presentation describes a photovoice project in three camps for internally displaced persons designed to prepare young people to participate in an alternative process of everyday peacebuilding based upon the cultivation of positive political emotions and political virtues.

man in with blue collared shirt and gray hair

About Professor Esqutih:

Steve Esquith is a professor in the Department of Philosophy. He has been working with partners in Mali since 2002 on a variety of peace education projects. Since 2018, he has been working in three camps for internally displaced persons in collaboration with faculty and students at the Universite des Lettres et des Sciences Humaines de Bamako on a photovoice project for young people in these camps. He has co-authored two articles with former AAP visiting scholar Welore Tamboura on this recent work, and he is currently finishing a book, Radical Poise: Peacebuilding through Political Education that connects the work in Mali with peacebuilding in other contexts.