It is impossible to specify the number of extrajudicial killings that have occurred in the Philippines since President Duterte announced his ‘war on drugs’ in May 2016. What is certain, however, is the disruptive impacts that these ‘strongman’ politics have had on daily life in that country.
The LSE International Drug Policy Unit will be running an exhibition in the Library Escape Area for the duration of the festival showing the human cost of the Philippines’ ‘war on drugs’. Photos by Philippine photojournalist Raffy Lerma will depict the victims, and audio recordings will tell their stories.
Far from a one-dimensional fatalistic showcasing of human destruction, the images will also tell the story of the quiet organisation, acts of compassion and community responses from human rights groups, with a particular focus on the harm reduction organisation NoBox Transitions.
A public lecture on the Thursday evening, 28 February, will explore in more detail the wider issue of the disorder caused by ‘strongman’ politics, and the creative social responses to it. Raffy and NoBox Director, Inez Feria, will elaborate on the situation in the Philippines whilst Ann Fordham, Executive Director of the International Drug Policy Consortium, will use Thailand’s earlier experience with a ‘war on drugs’ as a case study and means of comparison.
Inez Feria (@NoBoxT) founded NoBox Philippines which espouses principles of Harm Reduction and Compassionate Pragmatism in response to issues related to drugs.
Ann Fordham (@AnnFordham) is the Executive Director of the International Drug Policy Consortium leading on the coordination and development of the network.
Raffy Lerma is an independent photographer based in Manila, Philippines documenting the ‘war on drugs’.
John Collins (@JCollinsIDPU) is Executive Director of LSE’s International Drug Policy Unit.
Twitter hashtags for this event: #LSEFestival #NewWorldDisorders
This event is part of the LSE Festival: New World (Dis)Orders running from Monday 25 February to Saturday 2 March 2019, with a series of events exploring how social science can tackle global problems.