Arts and Culture / Magazine Feature

Author of Blood Diamonds to speak at DU

Greg Campbell, author of Blood Diamonds (Westview Press, 2002), will speak at noon April 20 at DU’s Driscoll Ballroom as the Fourth Annual Library Author’s Lecture.

“The Penrose Library/Provost’s Annual Author’s Lecture gives us the opportunity to not only showcase the importance of books as a gateway to knowledge about the world in diverse fields, but it also provides us with first-hand insight into the process of writing from the authors own experience,” says Jeanne Abrams, a professor at Penrose Library and Judaic studies.

Campbell’s book was published in 2002 and later served as the inspiration for the movie Blood Diamond starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Connelly.

Campbell, who lives in Ft. Collins, says he had a desire early in his career to get into the center of the action. It’s what prompted him to go to Bosnia in 1996 during the country’s civil war.

“I wanted to see an insider point of view,” Campbell says. “It was different and much more complex than could possibly be related through the media to consumers.”

From that experience, he wrote The Road to Kosovo: A Balkan Diary (Westview Press, 2000). Campbell says he was looking for a new topic when violence in Sierra Leone caught his attention. At the time, he says, a few non-government agencies (NGOs) mentioned the link between the violence and diamonds. It was enough to entice him to travel to Africa. It turned into more than he imagined.

“It’s an important story to me,” he says. “When you see people and interview people whose arms are chopped off, it becomes personal.”

Campbell will share his experiences researching and writing the book. The event is free and open to the public but reservations are required. Light refreshments will be served.

“I knew I had a powerful story to tell and needed to tell it carefully,” he says.


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