Updated: Oct 2, 2021
We are excited to announce the CCYSC Blog Theme for October and November 2021: "Children and Political Conflict".
The impact of political conflict has been widely understood in terms of destruction to property, casualties and displacement. Changing trends in the nature of conflicts suggest that conflicts are more often protracted and occur increasingly in populated civil areas. (Save the Children International, 2018). As a result, the consequences are now being seen beyond the damage to tangible properties and bodies, through intangible psychosocial impact.
Being in their early stages of development, children, arguably, are particularly vulnerable to political conflicts. However, they are often invisibilized and considered as incidental victims or inconsequential actors (Wessels, 1998). Political conflicts, which often include armed engagement, use of military force against civilian population and suppression of civil rights, have a long lasting impact on children’s psychosocial development. Traumatic events, as an extension of violent conflicts can have intense distressful impact on their emotional, cognitive, behavioral and physiological functioning. Children continue to be affected even during periods when violence is not as apparent given the interconnected nature of conflict with everyday life. These experiences of a violent environment affect children’s realistic understanding of wars and conflict (Bar-Tal, Diamond, & Nasie, 2017), and further impact everyday childhood experiences as well as their systems of beliefs as future adults (Kagan & Moss, 1962).
Through this theme, we intend to orient the conversation on political conflicts towards children and childhood, particularly in South Asia. We aim to understand the different ways in which political conflicts shape childhoods and the ways in which children perceive conflict. Further, we also aim to explore the factors related to political conflict (directly or indirectly), through which children develop in-group solidarity and out-group hostility at early stages. Furthermore, the long term impact of conflict, and the subject of children’s agency in political conflict, or the lack thereof, is also worth investigating here. We intend to use the platform as a means of opening up a dialogue, thereby expanding the scholarship on this subject, and providing a platform to young people to share their experiences of conflicts, thereby rendering a shift in the discourse on political conflict which has hitherto privileged adult voices.
At the outset, we acknowledge that the experiences of individuals living in areas of conflict are different from those who have not lived in such environments. We understand that observational and imaginative narratives may not do sufficient justice to the lived experiences of children born and brought up in conflict zones. Hence,we encourage individuals with lived experiences of political conflict to share their first hand experiences, stories and testimonials in our blog series for the month of October & November 2021.
Submissions can be made in a wide variety of genres and media: commentaries, essays, and research pieces. Creative submissions in the form of fiction, poetry, video, audio, or mixed media and photo essays, are particularly welcome by children, youth, and adults who have lived through conflicts . Written contributions should not be more than 1500-2000 words. For video contributions, please ensure that the file size is not more than 10 GB. All material should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send your submissions by 15 October 2021.
Feel free circulate this call in your networks. We look forward to your engagement with our theme!