For some time I have been trying to make sense of some of the events in places like Rwanda, Zimbabwe and the Balkans. I had the idea that if I could break it down for myself in a way that I understand it then perhaps that information would be useful for other people too.

This whole project was put on the back burner though as I worked on my other blogs and tried to settle into my new life in the UK. The blog was also self-hosted using B2Evo and I found that nearly impossible to maintain. I've found Blogger really easy to use though and now I hope to relaunch this blog here and hope to update it on a much more frequent basis.

In this blog I'll update about the various conflicts in the world but I'll also post snippets from the news that I find interesting or disturbing. It is called "A Passion to Understand" because I have a passionate desire to understand how things like genocide can happen in our modern world and I need to know about these things.

My other blogs are:

Emm in London - my travels both around London and the world

Addicted to Media - my TV, film, book and music reviews

About Mandy Southgate

Mandy Southgate is an accountant living and working in London. She is passionate about world events such as genocide and apartheid and has a desire to understand how these events continue to occur in the modern world. With a focus on the 20th and 21st centuries, A Passion to Understand reflects her continuing research and reading on these topics.
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  1. Good luck on both your passion and understanding.

    Objectivity requires a lack of passion that is hard to maintain as Haskell Wexler explored in his 1969 Medium Cool.

    On the other hand, Yeats was spot on in The Second Coming when he wrote:

    The best lack all conviction
    While the worst are full of passionate intensity.

    That's what seems clearest to me in the recent acromony playing out in America's health care mass debation.

  2. @ Dr Faustroll: Firstly, may I say welcome and thank you for taking the time to comment here. I must say that I have been reading lots and lots of blogs on the current American situation with respect to tea parties and healthcare and I just can't figure it all out. Being a South African in England I find it hard enough to keep up with the loss of liberties I took for granted in deepest, darkest Africa!

    It is really interesting what you say about objectivity and passion. I don't know if I want to be objective any longer. Our study of the world was so clinical in university. I think it is time to be more passionate!

  3. Thank you for your beautifully composed blog featuring FXB's work with AIDS orphans and vulnerable children. For the last 20 years, FXB has been running sustainable programs around the world. If you would ever like more information about our projects and current initiatives, please email Thank you for your support and your daily commitment to increasing awareness.

    Thank you,
    Nico Dauterive

  4. Thank you for your comment Nico! I sent you an email and if you'd ever like me to do a fuller feature then just let me know.

  5. Hello Emm, this modern age continues to fascinate me, as I recently thought about you (no, we never met before!), listening to a poignant story of Shin Dong-hyuk, the only man to ever escape North Korea’s prison camps. Strange? Well, not really... I originally stumbled upon your blog last winter, as I was looking for posts/pictures of Fruska gora (wine & nostalgia must have something to do about it). What I was fascinated about then is that you fell in love with my home town of Novi Sad, and that you found the mountain to be so magical. I think I even left the comment then, but can’t remember about what exactly.
    This is not the reason, of course, why I would remember you (first) as I listened, completely transfixed, to this sad, sad story, recently told in the book Escape from Camp 14, by Blaine Harden. It is this other blog of yours, the one that got me really thinking about you for a while back then.
    As someone who grew up in former Yugoslavia, I was from the very early years aware of the horrors and atrocities humans are capable of. From the elementary school excursions to Jasenovac Memorial, to learning pioneer songs, such as, “Pevaju masinke lepse nego ptice” (machineguns are singing nicer than the birds), we learn to grow up with tough stomachs in that part of Europe. But this story really crushed me. I could not leave my car, even though I long arrived to my office’s parking lot and the interview already ended. I really think you should learn about it. The account of these atrocities belongs on your blog.
    All the best,


  6. Zoran, thank you so much for your comment and for the information on the book. I shall try get hold of it as soon as possible.

  7. Hi, Emm.

    I stumbled unto your blog, as I was continuing my research on the Rwandan Genocide for my International Relations in the post-Cold War class. I wish you all the best with your work! It is fascinating!


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