Reading such a heart-wrenching book as A Long Way Gone in class presents a difficult teaching dilemma: where do we go from here? It’s so depressing that my gut reaction is a desire to turn away from the subject altogether, to find something happier to discuss.
Turning away, of course, is a possibility for those of us on the other side of the world. It isn’t a possibility for those like—but even less lucky than—Ishmael Beah (who was fortunate enough to get a book deal), or Blood Diamond’s Solomon (who ends the movie having gotten his family out of the country).
So this led me to a question: how did they move on from such a tragedy?
It seems to me there are two parts to this.
- How did the individuals affected by the violence attempt to heal?
- How did the country as a whole attempt to recover and move on?
We’re going to look at these two questions by examining some different conflicts around the world. You will be assigned a partner, and a conflict from the list below. You will create and deliver a powerpoint presentation, and turn in an annotated bibliography. The focus of your presentation will be these questions:
- What was the conflict, and how was it resolved?
- What groups were affected, and how?
- What was done to help individuals and families recover?
- What was the focus of nation-building afterward?
- What sort of ethical implications did that war have?
This project is due on November 2. Presentations will begin on November 5.
Here’s the list:
- Sudan (1983-2002, 2004-?)
- Cote d’Ivoire (2002-?)
- Ethiopia-Eritrea (1998-2000)
- Yugoslavian wars (1992-1996)
- Liberian civil war (1989-?)
- Sri Lanka (1983-?)
- Mozambique (1977-?)
- Lebanon (1975-1987)
- Rhodesia/Zimbabwe (1972-1979)
- IRA-Northern Ireland’s (1969-2002)
- Columbia (1966-?)
- Indonesia (1965-66)
- El Salvador (1979-1992)
- Khmer Rouge, Cambodia (1975-1979)
- Laos (1975-87)
- Angola (1975-2002)
- Australian frontier wars (1788-1930s)*
- Boer Wars (1880-1881, 1899-1902)*
Here are examples of sources that could help us come to a discussion of the aftermath of the conflict in Sierra Leone: