Conflicts are an inevitable element in society; but what happens when these degenerate and turn into violence, terrorism and oppression? It is necessary to remember and remember in order to get out of the prison of memories, we must ask ourselves what are the reasons that led to dramatic choices.
Adolfo Ceretti, professor of criminology and offender-victim mediation, will awaken the memory, and will do so through three fundamental stages: the Years of Lead, Apartheid in South Africa and the Colombian armed conflict: these are the key points of the new Author Lesson “Short course on conflict mediation” by Feltrinelli Education.
The Years of Lead in Italy are conventionally placed between 1969 and 1987 and indicate the set of armed conflicts and terrorist attacks linked to the extremeization of political ideologies. The expression, in use both among scholars and at the popular level, originates from the homonymous film by Margarethe Von Trotta. Ceretti explains that those were bloody years: 428 people were killed during the terrorist attacks and more than 14,000 attacks were carried out. However, the object of her analysis is not the historical point of view of this period, but the relationship between the victims and the perpetrator, the state of mind that modifies both the relationships with oneself and others and the affections.
In this regard he says: “For decades I have met perpetrators and victims of serious crimes, whoever commits and suffers violence has a story that asks for time to be told and listened to”; and again: “most of those who commit or suffer violence are in constant conversation with themselves as in a soliloquy”. Soliloquies who remain locked in the claustrophobic space of their interiority that does not allow the wound to heal. From this point of view, little has been done in Italy to hear the stories and destinies of the lives of the victims, relatives and those who attacked their bodies.
The tensions that lead to conflict often originate in the wounds of society. The example given by Ceretti in the second lesson is that of Apartheid in South Africa: one of the most radical forms of segregation between ethnic groups of the last century. The teacher’s analysis begins with 1948, the year in which the “National Party” (a group of Afrikaner nationalists of mostly Dutch origin) wins the elections for the first time, giving way to the segregation of the Bantu, the “colored” and, subsequently, of the Asian population. The best jobs are reserved for whites, public transport is diversified and the areas of residence separated so that the segregated part of the population is forced to live in the “homelands”, territorial political realities in their own right.
After the peaceful demonstration of March 30, 1960, which culminated in bloodshed, the government uses the massacre as a justification to declare a state of emergency and outlaw the main anti-Apartheid parties. The watershed was then in 1990 when Frederick de Klerk was elected President of South Africa and announced that he wanted to dismantle the Apartheid system by legalizing all extra-parliamentary political movements, decreeing Mandela’s release and restoring freedom of the press.
The third and last stage taken into consideration is the civil war in Colombia: a war that counts 8 million victims including displaced, dead, wounded and missing and that in one way or another has continued to this day. Ceretti uses these words to describe the resilience of the Colombian population: “Ever since I arrived in Medellin I have wondered how it was possible that in a continuum of violence that lasted uninterruptedly starting in 1948, the lives of most people could have continued almost in normality “. A people, the Colombian one, which has always known how to organize forms of social, political and existential resistance, a people that has also survived the attack of the greatest drug trafficker in the history of the country and perhaps of the world: Pablo Escobar.
You can find the short course by Adolfo Ceretti together with those of numerous authors and journalists who populate the on demand offer of Feltrinelli Education. Together with him: Mario Del Pero, Chiara Valerio, Nadia Urbinati, Carlo Greppi, Paolo Cognetti and many others. Feltrinelli Education’s offer ranges from publishing to the cultural industry to digital content, thanks to short and advanced live courses, on-demand video lessons and insights, practical workshops and university Executive Programs. To discover all the Author Lessons, here is the dedicated section of the Feltrinelli Education website.
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