The cover photograph of Peter Chilson's e-book, "We Never Knew Exactly Where: Dispatches from the Lost Country of Mali." Image by Peter Chilson. Mali, 2012. Add this image to a lesson

Prize-winning author and Washington State University Associate Professor Peter Chilson became an unsuspecting 'war correspondent' when he arrived in Mali on the eve of a 2011 coup and was one of the few Westerners to witness--and report on--the unfolding story.

He then got back to the task that brought him to the country: a reporting series on borderlands supported by the Pulitzer Center and Foreign Policy. Chilson found a blurry dividing line between the demoralized remnants of the former regime in the south and a new "state" in the north formed when jihad fighters commandeered a rebellion by the country's ethnic Tuareg minority. Chilson's reporting provided the basis for his most recent book, "We Never Knew Exactly Where: Dispatches from the Lost Country of Mali," published jointly by Foreign Policy and the Pulitzer Center.

Chilson discusses his time in Mali, border issues, migration and the developing turmoil in the country.

Tuesday, February 12
Washington University in St. Louis
Seigle 104
St. Louis, MO

Free and open to public.

This discussion is sponsored by Washington University's International and Area Studies Program and Sigma Iota Rho in collaboration with the Pulitzer Center. Washington University is a Pulitzer Center Campus Consortium partner.


Europeans drew Africa’s borders long ago. Today these lines are often deserted and sometimes dangerous. Mali is the legacy: A crumbling state, rump of ancient empire between desert and forest.


January 30, 2013 / Al Jazeera
Peter Chilson
Al Jazeera English's program "Listening Post" examines why journalists are finding it difficult to cover the story in Mali. It features an interview with Pulitzer Center grantee Peter Chilson.
January 17, 2013 / Foreign Policy
Peter Chilson
Northern Mali is currently the largest al Qaeda-controlled space in the world and could become a "permanent haven for terrorists and organized criminal networks."