Account Login Canada Toll-Free: 1.800.561.1833 SK Toll-Free: 1.877.506.7456 Contact & Locations

Remind Me

An Evening with Payam Akhavan

Monday Oct 16 2017 7:00 pm, Winnipeg, Grant Park in the Atrium

In conversation with Ismaila Alfa and signing In Search of a Better World: A Human Rights Odyssey (House of Anansi). Co-presented by the Winnipeg International Writers Festival as part of our collaborative Fall Literary Series.

Renowned UN prosecutor and human rights scholar Payam Akhavan has encountered the grim realities of contemporary genocide throughout his life and career. He argues that deceptive utopias, political cynicism, and public apathy have given rise to major human rights abuses: from the religious persecution of Iranian Bahá’ís that shaped his personal life, to the horrors of ethnic cleansing in Yugoslavia, the genocide in Rwanda, and the rise of contemporary phenomena such as the Islamic State. But he also reflects on the inspiring resilience of the human spirit and the reality of our inextricable interdependence to liberate us, whether from hateful ideologies that deny the humanity of others or an empty consumerist culture that worships greed and self-indulgence.

Payam Akhavan is a Professor of International Law at McGill University in Montreal, a Member of the International Court of Arbitration, and a former UN prosecutor at The Hague. He has served with the UN in conflict zones around the world, including Bosnia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Rwanda, and Timor Leste, and as legal counsel in landmark cases before the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, the European Court of Human Rights, the Supreme Courts of Canada and the United States. His prior academic appointments were at Oxford University, University of Paris, the European University Institute, University of Toronto, and Yale Law School. Payam Akhavan was born in Tehran, Iran, and migrated to Canada with his family in his childhood.

Ismaila AlfaIsmaila Alfa hosts Up to Speed on CBC Radio One 89.3 FM / 990 AM, which can be heard weekdays from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. or live streamed at cbc.ca/manitoba. He joined CBC Manitoba in 2008 as a traffic reporter and quickly became the go-to navigator of Winnipeg streets. Ismaila has also hosted CBC Manitoba’s Scene On-Air where he created a special meeting place for the arts on radio. A musician himself, he could talk to musicians, artist to artist. Most recently he spent a year and a half waking up with Manitoba on the weekends as Interim host of CBC Manitoba’s The Weekend Morning Show. Ismaila lives in Winnipeg's downtown, and is genuinely invested in this city and what happens here as he raises his two youngest daughters.

See:

In Search of A Better World

- Trade paperback

by Payam Akhavan - $19.95 - Add to Cart

A work of memoir, history, and a call to action, In Search of a Better World, the 2017 CBC Massey Lecture, is a powerful and essential work on the major human rights struggles of our times.In February of 2017, Amnesty International released their Annual Report for 2016 to 2017, concluding that the "us versus them" rhetoric increasingly employed by politicians is endangering human rights the world over. Renowned UN prosecutor and human rights scholar Payam Akhavan has encountered the grim realities of contemporary genocide throughout his life and career. He argues that deceptive utopias, political cynicism, and public apathy have given rise to major human rights abuses: from the religious persecution of Iranian Bahá'ís that shaped his personal life, to the horrors of ethnic cleansing in Yugoslavia, the genocide in Rwanda, and the rise of contemporary phenomena such as the Islamic State. But he also reflects on the inspiring resilience of the human spirit and the reality of our inextricable interdependence to liberate us, whether from hateful ideologies that deny the humanity of others or an empty consumerist culture that worships greed and self-indulgence.A timely, essential, and passionate work of memoir and history, In Search of a Better World is a tour de force by an internationally renowned human rights lawyer.