The Ends of the War on Drugs: Cultures of Prohibition in Global Perspective

Tuesday 11 September 2018, 12:00-Wednesday 12 September 2018, 15:30

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A one and a half day symposium focussing on cultural aspects of the ‘War on Drugs’ from fields such as Human Geography, Feminism, Politics, Area Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, Literature and Film Studies. A programme is available.

The futility of the ‘War on Drugs’ is now widely recognised. Even conservative establishment figures regularly call for an end to prohibition. Yet as policies begin to shift towards decriminalisation of ‘softer’ drugs in some parts of the world, in others violent prohibition has intensified as politicians continue to bolster their popularity through hard-line practices. Such actions give credence to those who have argued that the true ends of prohibition were never the reduction in drug-related harms but were always about the maintenance of hierarchies of power – political, colonial, racial. At the same time, there is a boom in culture industry that surrounds the conflict, ranging from popular shows like Narcos and Breaking Bad to award-winning ‘narco-novels’ and sections of the film and the music industry directly funded by drug profits. In this context many have argued that logic of prohibition is ‘cultural’ in the broadest sense.

This interdisciplinary symposium focuses on cultural aspects of the ‘War on Drugs’ from fields such as Human Geography, Feminism, Politics, Area Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, Literature, Film Studies.

This event will be delivered through the medium of English. You are welcome to ask questions in the medium of Welsh during the Q & A sessions. If you intend to do this, please contact mlang-events@cardiff.ac.uk by Tuesday 28 August to request simultaneous translation.  Please note that 10% or more of those planning to attend will need to request this provision in order for it to be sourced and will be subject to resource availability.