The conflict in Mindanao is one of the oldest in the world. This 450-year-old-conflict revolves around the quest for self-determination among the Moros, the 13 Islamised indigenous tribes living in the southern Philippines. From 1565 to 1946 foreign colonisers tried to subjugate these tribes, and while the foreign colonisers are gone, their centuries-long “divide and rule” tactic left cultural biases and prejudices between Muslims and Christians. These centuries-old prejudices have been operative in the minds and hearts of young Mindanaoans, perpetuated by elders through oral history: even in bedtime stories.
This seminar investigates the effect of these old prejudices on young people in Mindanao, and how the youth of Mindanao are addressing this problem and seeking to fulfill their aspirations.
Primitivo III Ragandang (“Prime”) is the ANU Philippines Project scholar in the College of Asia & the Pacific’s School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet). His current research examines youth-led peace-building programs and the role of development aid. He co-founded a youth-based peace-building organization which uses arts and creative movement as a tool to create empathetic communities in Mindanao.