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Troops of the King's African Rifles carry supplies on horseback. They are escorted by armed soldiers on watch for MauMau fighters. WikiCommons

Axel Springer Lecture

Online Event

Age of Emergency: Colonial Violence at the End of the British Empire

How did British society respond — or fail to respond — to the use of torture in its overseas empire after 1945? The most intense period of decolonization was marked by a series of military conflicts known formally as “states of emergency”: counterinsurgencies which targeted anticolonial movements with overwhelming and often brutal violence. In this talk, Erik Linstrum discusses the networks of activists, soldiers, journalists, filmmakers, and others who bridged the gap between the conflict zones of empire and everyday life in Britain. Paradoxically, Linstrum argues, the forms of communication that increased awareness of violence also undermined action to stop it. The history of knowledge about colonial violence is thus not only a story of open secrets, but of tactics that blurred epistemology and ethics. Contemporaries insisted on the unknowability of definitive evidence of violence, distinguished between knowledge and the duty to act on it, and valorized the acceptance of “hard truths.”

23 Mar 21
19:30 - 21:00
Online via Zoom (7:30 p.m. CET / 2:30 p.m. ET)

Speaker: Erik Linstrum

This event took place on March 23, 2021.

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