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New Internationalist

Pathways to peace (part 1)

How the effects of violence are inherited...

There’s no escaping it. It seems like violence is everywhere! Turn on the radio and hear about the latest war - mass rapes, murder and destruction. Closer to home it’s a body found in a trunk; a grandmother bashed for her bag; or a child that’s been sexually assaulted. How to respond? Give comfort and support to the victims? Time, they say, is a wonderful healer. But is it?

What if trauma is inherited - a violent legacy that’s passed down from one generation to another. Suddenly the wars that are happening far away - wars we didn’t think were even relevant to us - can come back years, decades, even centuries later to haunt our communities just because someone’s grandfather or aunt was there.

This is the first of four programs that will be broadcast over the coming months in search of sustainable pathways to peace. Independent Australian broadcaster Colm McNaughton kicks off this series with his excellent documentary, Awakening from History, which was commissioned by the Australian Broadcasting Commission. In it, Colm returns to Ireland - the home of his parents and for a short time the cradle of his own childhood - to confront the profound effects that the war between the British and the Irish had on himself and his family, decades and generations later.

Unfortunately, while this part of the program has been broadcast by the 50 community radio programs across the world now scheduling Radio New Internationalist, for copyright reasons we are unable to make this documentary available to the general public through our website. However, here is the interview that followed the documentary, with indigenous member of the New South Wales Parliament, Linda Burney. Linda takes our understanding another step further as she considers whether the violence that deprived Australian Aboriginal people of their land up to two centuries ago can explain why their communities are full of violence today.

Download the program to your computer or music player (Right click on the link and choose where
you would like to save the program to - 128kbps mp3 14.4MB)

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