CeaseFire Programme + Youth at Risk Seminar

The CeaseFire Programme is a violence prevention and reduction programme that uses the expertise of reformed ex-gang members to interrupt violence and that offers alternative lifestyles and reduces risk for high-risk individuals.

The CeaseFire model is a data-driven approach located at Cure Violence, Public Health Department, University of Illinois. The CeaseFire Baseline Report defines the measure of the project’s impact on the people’s lives, and particularly that of youth at risk over the pilot project’s lifecycle in Hanover Park.

For further information, see www.savi.uct.ac.za/sites/default/files/image_tool/images/168/SaVI-CeaseFire-presentation.pdf and www.savi.uct.ac.za/sites/default/files/image_tool/images/168/Seminar-position-paper-05-11V2.pdf

The study of masculinity as a construct of male identity only emerged from the 1980s, primarily from 1960s second-wave radical feminists, who raised awareness around widespread masculine violence. These concerns were only voiced in South Africa much later.

Positive male masculinity exists in Hanover Park, despite the lack of real positive male role models, given the depravation and continuous violence that residents experience daily. The masculinity construct is implicated in both power relationships and persistent male-dominated violence. Hegemonic masculinity is generally characterised by three factors: toughness, success and control. Secondary school males in a Cape Town area characterised by crime, violence and gang activity endorsed these masculine aspects much more than males in non-gang-dominated areas.

The depictions of masculinity by coloured adolescent males awaiting trial for violent crimes tend to be dominated by discourses of strength, gang-related activities, and an obsession with guns and shooting. These violent youngsters came from deprived and marginalised backgrounds and see these gang-inspired macho masculinities as the only or one of the few options for achieving a ‘positive’ male identity. This perpetuates a subculture of violence on the Cape Flats.

Astrid von Brucken (2012). Introductory Paper to UCT’’s Vice Chancellor’s Safety and Violence Initiative (SaVI) and VPUU in Hanover Park. The seminar PowerPoint presentation is available at www.savi.uct.ac.za/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/SaVI-CeaseFire-presentation.pdf Report: VPUU in Hanover Park Baseline Analysis.