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‘Peace Pedagogy’ Lessons from Colombia: Strategies for an Era of Post-Truth Politics

‘Peace Pedagogy’ Lessons from Colombia: Strategies for an Era of Post-Truth Politics

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The paradigms of Western democracy and liberalism are increasingly trembling under our new world order, and radical new strategies are needed.

The 2012-2016 peace process in Colombia between the government of Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC guerrilla sought to end fifty years of war. This talk describes the government’s ‘peace pedagogy’ strategy, in parallel to negotiations, of informing Colombians about the peace process: a global innovation.

In the 2016 Peace Referendum, 50.2% of voters rejected an internationally-heralded peace deal, largely due to a misinformation campaign spread via social media which positioned narratives that elicited fear, anger, resentment and mistrust, and which played on low public awareness of the actual content of the peace agreement.

However, the talk suggests that this ‘peace pedagogy’ strategy, which evolved in dynamic contexts and was largely a response to the demands of organized civil society calling for official information from the state, can offer lessons that are relevant globally, for the era of ‘post-truth’ politics.  

Gwen Burnyeat is a great-great-great-granddaugter of Darwin, a Wolfson scholar and PhD candidate in Anthropology at UCL. She is author of the book ‘Chocolate, Politics and Peace-Building: An Ethnography of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, Colombia’ (Palgrave Macmillan 2018) and director of ethnographic documentary ‘Chocolate of Peace’ (2016). She has worked in Colombia for over eight years,  writes on the peace process for the London Review of Books, Latin America Bureau and The Conversation, and is a member of Embrace Dialogue, a transnational civil society organisation that supports the Colombian peace process.

 

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