A different way into a (much recommended) book

This week I attended a speed-reading course. One of the exercises required us to pick a book we had not read but wanted to, and spend 30 min speed-reading it to get as much info as possible from it.
I picked Séverine Autesserre’s “The trouble with the Congo” and it looks like this:

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This is clearly not the same as carefully reading something, but it is definitely a good way to become acqainted with a book to see if it is worth reading it entirely.

Which is precisely the case for Autesserre’s book, since her writing is extremely good and the wealth of information (330 in depth interviews!) makes it a brilliant research piece. I was able nonetheless to get a general understanding of the book thesis:

that the international intervention in eastern DRC has largely failed to promote durable peace due to the dominant peace-building culture. This culture is focussed on the national and international contexts and thus has prevented the local conflicts that cause much of the violence from being sufficiently acknowledged or adequately addressed. Autesserre’s recommendation is thus to give a much greater role to local peace-building initiatives.

This is an extremely insightful thesis, valid also for other conflicts outside eastern DRC or the African continent.

Whilst doing some research for this post, I have seen that Autesserre recently recorded a TED talk explaining the thesis of her book.
She does a much better job that I can explains it much better than I can ever do, so please, watch it below (incidentally, also a new – and possibly more effective way – to learn about this very much recommended book!)

https://embed-ssl.ted.com/talks/severine_autesserre_to_solve_mass_violence_look_to_locals.html

DRC diplomat vs. Spanish princess – awkward moment of the week

This video, shown on TV last night, has been providing plenty of entertainment to Spanish social network users.

The incident ocurred during the annual reception by the King and the royal family of foreign diplomats in Spain. As it can be seen at 0:29, the Spanish princess Letizia and a DRC diplomat are about to shake hands when the diplomat moves his hand away and turns around leaving the princess visibly surprised.
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