Tuesdays, October 11 - November 8 at 10 p.m. – Women, War & Peace
(Rochester, NY) – What if you looked at war as though women mattered? What if you looked at peace as though women mattered? These two questions are at the heart of a five-hour series, Women, War & Peace, a comprehensive global media initiative on the changing roles of women in war and peace. Actors Matt Damon, Geena Davis, Tilda Swinton, and Alfre Woodard narrate.
Filmed in conflict zones in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Colombia, and Liberia, Women, War & Peace, premiering Tuesdays, October 11, 18, 25 and November 1 and 8 at 10 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD (DT21.1/cable 1011 and 11), couldn’t be timelier. As the recent announcement of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan makes headlines around the world, Women, War & Peace places women at the center of an urgent dialogue about conflict and security.
Among the women spotlighted are Afghan women’s rights activists who are risking their lives to make sure that women have a seat at the table in peace talks with the Taliban; the courageous Bosnian women who broke history’s great silence and testified about their rape and sexual enslavement, leading to a historic court victory; two extraordinary Colombian women who are braving death threats to remain on the gold-rich land that has sustained their community for centuries; and a group of Liberian women, led by activist Leymah Gbowee, who faced down the killers and brought peace to their country. The Liberian women’s inspiring story is told in the award-winning documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell, airing for the first time on U.S. television as part of Women, War & Peace.
As Women, War & Peace reveals, the majority of today’s conflicts are not fought by nations and their armies, but rather by gangs, insurgent groups, and warlords armed with small arms and improvised weapons. Women have become primary targets in these conflicts and though they are suffering unprecedented casualties they are simultaneously emerging as critical partners in brokering peace and as leaders in forging new international laws governing conflict. For five consecutive weeks, Women, War & Peace focuses on the under-reported stories of the women who are changing the rules of engagement in conflict hotspots all over the world, reframing our understanding of modern warfare.
Episode titles, descriptions, and air dates on WXXI-TV/HD:
I Came to Testify, airing October 11 at 10 p.m, is the moving story of how a group of 16 women who had been imprisoned and raped by Serb-led forces in the Bosnian town of Foca broke history’s great silence and stepped forward to take the witness stand in an international court of law. Their remarkable courage resulted in a triumphant verdict that led to new international laws about sexual violence in war. Matt Damon, who narrates the film, has taped a behind-the-scenes-video talking about why the themes of this series matter to men, too. Hear Matt Damon at http://www.pbs.org/wnet/women-war-and-peace/features/why-should-men-care/
Pray the Devil Back to Hell, airing October 18 at 10 p.m, is the astonishing story of the Liberian women who took on the warlords and regime of dictator Charles Taylor in the midst of a brutal civil war and won a once unimaginable peace for their shattered country in 2003. Among the women featured is Leymah Gbowee, the leader of the Liberian women’s peace movement. Gbowee is based in Accra, Ghana, where she is executive director of the Women Peace and Security Network – Africa. Her book, Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War, with Carol Mithers will be published in September 2011 by Beast Books.
Peace Unveiled airs October 25 at 10 p.m. When the U.S. troop surge was announced in late 2009, women in Afghanistan knew that the ground was being laid for peace talks with the Taliban. Peace Unveiled follows three women in Afghanistan who are risking their lives to make sure that women have a seat at the negotiating table. Tilda Swinton narrates.
The War We Are Living, airing November 1 at 10 p.m., travels to Cauca, a mountainous region in Colombia’s Pacific southwest, where two extraordinary Afro-Colombian women are fighting to stay on their gold-rich lands. They are standing up for a generation of Colombians who have been terrorized and forcibly displaced as a deliberate strategy of war.Alfre Woodard narrates.
War Redefined,airing November 8 at 10 p.m., the capstone of Women, War & Peace, challenges the conventional wisdom that war and peace are men’s domain through incisive interviews with leading thinkers, secretaries of state, and seasoned survivors of war and peacemaking. Interviewees include Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and both her female predecessors, Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice; Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee; Bosnian war crimes investigator Fadila Memisevic; and globalization expert Moises Naim. Geena Davis narrates.
Accompanying the broadcast of Women, War & Peace is a companion website (womenwarandpeace.org) featuring video clips, audio interviews, behind-the-scenes reports from filmmakers and stakeholders, original reporting, web-exclusive content, interviews with leading scholars and journalists, and educator and facilitator guides.
Pictured: Leymah Gbowee, featured Liberian activist
Credit: Courtesy of Michael Angelo for Wonderland
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