Last day/last session at the conference in York brought up the notion of a Peace Industry (in a N. Irish context) – where a political and economic culture have a hard time moving on from systems built on focused “relief” cash… That once a region conforms to external templates for peace, say, and once the external money so massively channeled toward achieving those goals dries up, there starts to be a nostalgia for conflict – if even tacit – among the services that sprang up to mirror aid-agency expectations. (This is in line with the earlier Gourevitch article.)
Then, yesterday, a visit form the Jenin Freedom Theatre – struggling (as a theater, as activists) to move on from the assassination of their co-founder and guide (Juliano Mer-Khamis), and life-in-occupation. They seemed mindful of the above – their mission is focused first on esthetically refined work, and in terms of ethics, they want to call out injustices in broad terms (speaking to the need for Palestinian self-liberation – rights for women, political tolerance – as a path to national liberation). The stresses they face underscores that the War Industry is no picnic either.
The problem is Industry? Or Industry/industrial behaviors as a substitute for Policy/morality?