“As a young kid, in one old book I actually wrote, ‘Ambition: To defend the oppressed’. I can’t stop laughing at it. But it’s all been a progression of that kind of ambition.”

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Episode notes

Rufa Cagoco-Guiam is an anthropologist based in General Santos City, and has worked on dozens of peacebuilding and development initiatives in the wider southern Philippines.

Her background includes a long academic CV; stints as a newspaper editor-in-chief and columnist; and a wide range of consultancies with international institutions.

She shares her stories and perspectives on:

  • how someone curious and socially-minded gets engaged with conflict and social challenges around them.
  • the role of academia in a charged social context, and the deteriorating political climate of the last few years.
  • what international involvement in the southern Philippines has tended to get wrong over the last twenty years.