Posted inWar and Peace

Peace lessons from Colombia’s long night of war (and still-arriving dawn)

Reading Time: 7 minutes Sometimes I forget that I used to live in a place where national news didn’t routinely bring me word of an assassinated social leader, or another death related to civil-conflict violence. Colombia is the second-most biodiverse country in the world, and even within specific departments (states) afflicted by cartel and guerrilla violence, there is quite […]

Posted inWar and Peace

The cost of uneasy peace and economic warfare

Reading Time: 7 minutes In recent bouts of economic sanctions against Russia, many average citizens are just now learning about the extent of oil imperialism in their lives. But it’s not simply a matter of countries leveraging energy markets against one another. Oil companies stand gleefully at the ready to boost profits and political positioning even as our governments […]

Posted inWar and Peace

Breaking down Western myths of peace

Reading Time: 7 minutes I’ll never forget my confusion, as a Canadian in Colombia in 2018, when I first visited Museo Casa de la Memoria. In Medellín’s “memory house”, a video explained that Colombia had more history with peace than any other country. I’d been raised to believe in Canada’s strong commitment to “peace, order, and good government.” Surely […]

Posted inHistory

We’ve been here before: 5 centuries of (flawed) human rights advocacy

Reading Time: 5 minutes There’s a quote by 19th-century essayist Charles Dudley Warner that I think about every time I revisit world history. As he wrote, “It is fortunate that each generation does not comprehend its own ignorance. We are thus enabled to call our ancestors barbarous.” Cute, right? But the phenomenon he observed, of thinking ourselves automatically morally […]

Posted inDeep Dive

What does it mean to resist?

Reading Time: 6 minutes If you’ve ever spent time around small children, you might recall one of their most fascinating phases: when a child first learns “no,” and starts to use it. It’s an extraordinary leap into self-recognition, this moment when they discover that they have the option to resist. And they’re curious about it, of course. They want […]

Posted inCulture

Addressing Palestinian suffering is hard, so the world plays word games

Reading Time: 6 minutes On February 1, 2022, Amnesty International released a report identifying the current situation in Israel and Palestine as “apartheid,” a term most commonly associated with South Africa’s political system of racial stratification until 1994. The full title goes further, calling the region’s state of affairs a “cruel system of domination and crime against humanity.” The […]

Posted inEnvironment

Oil imperialism and the struggle for human control over our futures

Reading Time: 4 minutes In March 2020, something unsettling transpired in the global economy. Okay, a few somethings. But while most of the world remembers the sweeping COVID-19 lockdowns, what happened between Saudi Arabia and Russia around oil production is not common knowledge. And yet, as Vladimir Putin has launched a military invasion of Ukraine, we cannot forget the […]