Ben Rawlence

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Ben Rawlence is a British writer[1] who has written two books: Radio Congo: Signals Of Hope From Africa's Deadliest War (2012) and City of Thorns: Nine Lives in the World's Largest Refugee Camp (2016). From 2006 to 2013 he was a researcher for Human Rights Watch's Africa division. Rawlence has also written for The New York Times, The Guardian and London Review of Books. He lives in the Black Mountains, Wales.

Life and work[edit]

Rawlence holds a BA in Swahili and history from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, and an MA in international relations from the University of Chicago.[2]

From 2006 to 2013 he was a researcher for Human Rights Watch (HRW) in its Africa division, covering at different times the Horn of Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, and Zanzibar.[2][3] He has also worked as an adviser to the Civic United Front, a liberal party in Tanzania, and as a foreign affairs adviser to the Liberal Democrats in the UK Parliament.[2] He has written for The New York Times,[4][5] The Guardian[6] and London Review of Books.[7][8][9]

Rawlence's first book, Radio Congo: Signals Of Hope From Africa's Deadliest War (2012), is about how people are living amid war in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In 2010, whilst working for Human Rights Watch, Rawlence visited the refugee camp complex of Dadaab on the eastern Kenyan border with Somalia, then home to around 300,000 people. In 2011 he returned for the first of seven long visits over four years. Building on his years of research conducted for Human Rights Watch, he interviewed young Somali refugees living there, and saw the camp, which already was the largest refugee settlement in the world, grow further.[3][10][11][12] His resulting book, City of Thorns: Nine Lives in the World's Largest Refugee Camp (2016), alternates between portraits of these residents and "big-picture accounts of the regional turmoil that drove them there ... and continues to shape their lives". The book received positive reviews in the Los Angeles Times,[3] The Economist,[13] and by one reviewer in The New York Times,[10] but was met with some reservations by another reviewer in that same newspaper.[14]

Rawlence lives in the Black Mountains, Wales.[15]

Publications[edit]

Publications by Rawlence[edit]

  • Radio Congo: Signals Of Hope From Africa's Deadliest War.
    • London: OneWorld, 2013. ISBN 9781851689651.
    • Radio Congo: Voyage au Cœur du Congo des Africains. Paris: Globe, 2014. ISBN 9782211213660. Translation by Lucie Delplanque. French-language edition
  • City of Thorns: Nine Lives in the World's Largest Refugee Camp
    • This biographic follows the stories of nine individuals who fled, started and/or left the camp of Dadaab. The book primarily views the effects of the conflict through the eyes of the protagonists, while intersperced with commentary on the larger political and economic forces at work. City of Thorns is an urgent human story with deep international repercussions, brought to life through the people who call Dadaab home.[16]
      • London; New York: Picador, 2016. ISBN 978-1250067630. Hardback.
      • London: Portobello, 2016. ISBN 978-1846275876. Paperback.
      • Stadt der Verlorenen: Leben im größten Flüchtlingslager der Welt. Zürich: Nagel & Kimche, 2016. ISBN 978-3312006915. Translation by Bettina Münch and Kathrin Razum. German-language edition.

Publications with contributions by Rawlence[edit]

  • Between a Rock and a Hard Place: African NGOs, Donors and the State. Edited by Jim Igoe and Tim Kelsall. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2005. ISBN 9781594600173. Rawlence contributes the chapter "NGOs and the new field of African politics"

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Start the Week: Migration and Citizenship". BBC Radio 4. 25 January 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Ben Rawlence: Open Society Fellow". Open Society Foundations. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Leovy, Jill (2 January 2016). "Review: Dadaab refugee camp, detailed in 'City of Thorns,' is a world ripped from the world". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  4. ^ "The Other Refugee Crisis". The New York Times. 9 October 2015. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  5. ^ "Refugees Shouldn't Be Bargaining Chips". The New York Times. 17 May 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  6. ^ "Ben Rawlence". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  7. ^ Lawrence, Ben (26 April 2007). "Diary: Ben Rawlence". London Review of Books. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  8. ^ Lawrence, Ben (22 October 2013). "So much for social mobility". London Review of Books. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  9. ^ Lawrence, Ben (28 January 2013). "Where does DFID's money go?". London Review of Books. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  10. ^ a b Moorehead, Caroline (15 January 2016). "'City of Thorns,' by Ben Rawlence". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  11. ^ Moorehead, Caroline (15 January 2016). "Inside The New York Times Book Review: 'City of Thorns'". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  12. ^ Jimenez, Marina (24 January 2016). "Dadaab: Life — and love — in a refugee camp". Toronto Star. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  13. ^ "The refugees of Dadaab: Cheek by jowl: How the world forgot Dadaab". The Economist. 23 January 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  14. ^ Senior, Jennifer (11 January 2016). "Review: In 'City of Thorns,' Ben Rawlence Tells a Refugee Camp's Story". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  15. ^ "Ben Rawlence". Macmillan Publishers. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  16. ^ Rawlence, Ben (2017). City of thorns : nine lives in the worlds largest refugee camp. Picador. ISBN 1250118735. OCLC 987304757.
  17. ^ "Open Society Fellows: Spring 2013". Open Society Foundations. Archived from the original on 2 February 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2016.

External links[edit]