HARRISONBURG, Va. – The Center for Justice & Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) and WVPT-TV are co-sponsoring a special public screening of the documentary “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 14, 2011, in Lehman Auditorium on the campus of EMU.
Following the screening, which will include a short preview of the five-part documentary series “Women, War and Peace”—Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) distinguished alumna and EMU homecoming honoree Leymah Gbowee will speak of her experiences and take questions from the audience. Gbowee is one of the peace activists featured in “Pray the Devil Back to Hell”—an 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, winning a once unimaginable peace for their shattered country in 2003.
“Women, War & Peace” is a bold new five-part PBS television series challenging the conventional wisdom that war and peace is a man’s domain. The series, which will air on successive Tuesday evenings at 10 p.m. on WVPT/PBS beginning Oct. 11, 2011, spotlights the stories of women in conflict zones from Bosnia to Afghanistan and Colombia to Liberia, placing women at the center of an urgent dialogue about conflict and security, and reframing our understanding of modern warfare.
Following the final episode on Nov. 8, 2011, WVPT will broadcast a local follow-up program, co-produced by CJP, which will bring a local and regional perspective to this global story.
Featuring narrators Matt Damon, Tilda Swinton, Geena Davis and Alfre Woodard, “Women, War & Peace” is the most comprehensive global media initiative ever mounted on the roles of women in war and peace.
The five episodes in the series are:
“I Came to Testify” 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.
“Pray the Devil Back to Hell” is the 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.
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’s rights don’t get traded away in the deal.
“The War We Are Living” travels to Cauca, a mountainous region in Colombia’s Pacific southwest, where two extraordinary Afro-Colombian women are braving a violent struggle over 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.
“War Redefined”, 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 peace-making. Interviewees include Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee; Bosnian war crimes investigator Fadila Memisevic; and globalization expert Moisés Naím.
For more information on the Women, War and Peace series, visit www.pbs.org/wnet/women-war-and-peace/. More information about EMU’s Homecoming weekend and Leymah Gbowee speaking engagements can be found at www.emu.edu/alumni/homecoming/.