Women, War & Peace is a bold new five-part PBS series challenging the conventional wisdom that war and peace are men’s domain. Spotlighting the stories of women in conflict zones from Bosnia to Afghanistan and Colombia to Liberia, it places women at the center of an urgent dialogue about conflict and security, and reframes our understanding of modern warfare. PCRC’s founder and executive director Velma Šarić was the Bosnia Field Producer for the “I Came to Testify” and “War Redefined” episodes of the series and PCRC is partnering with the producers to hold screenings of the episodes and discussion sessions throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“I Came to Testify” – Women, War, & Peace
When the Balkans exploded into war in the 1990s, reports that tens of thousands of women were being systematically raped as a tactic of ethnic cleansing captured the international spotlight. “I Came to Testify” is the moving story of how a group of 16 women who had been imprisoned by Serb-led forces in the Bosnian town of Foča broke history’s great silence – and stepped forward to take the witness stand in an international court of law.
Now, as Bosnia is once again in the headlines with the capture of Bosnian Serb wartime general Ratko Mladić, the women agree to speak for the first time since then, on condition that we keep their identities hidden for their protection. “Witness 99,” who was held at gunpoint for a month with dozens of other women in a sports hall in the center of town remembers: “We were treated like animals. But that was the goal: to kill a woman’s dignity.” Their remarkable courage resulted in a triumphant verdict that led to new international laws about sexual violence in war. Returning to Bosnia 16 years after the end of the conflict, “I Came to Testify” also explores the chasm between this seismic legal shift and the post-war justice experienced by most of Bosnia’s women war survivors. Narrated by Matt Damon.
PCRC’s founder and executive director Velma Šarić was the Bosnia Field Producer for this episode of PBS’s five-part series Women, War & Peace. To watch the full episode of “I Came to Testify” visit http://www.pbs.org/wnet/women-war-and-peace/full-episodes/i-came-to-testify/.
“War Redefined” – Women, War, & Peace
The capstone of Women, War & Peace, “War Redefined” 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. Their experiences reveal how the post-Cold War proliferation of small arms has changed the landscape of war, with women becoming primary targets and suffering unprecedented casualty rates. Simultaneously, they describe how women are emerging as necessary partners in brokering lasting peace and as leaders in forging new international laws governing conflict. War Redefined reframes our understanding of modern warfare through probing conversations with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Madeleine Albright; Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee; Bosnian war crimes investigator Fadila Memisevic; Zainab Salbi, Founder of Women for Women International; globalization expert Moisés Naím; and Cynthia Enloe of Clark University, among others. Narrated by Geena Davis.
PCRC’s founder and executive director Velma Šarić was the Bosnia Field Producer for this episode of PBS’s series Women, War & Peace. To watch the full episode of “War Redefined” visit http://www.pbs.org/wnet/women-war-and-peace/full-episodes/war-redefined/.
Bridging Cultures through Law Film Series: “I Came to Testify”
DC-area law students, legal experts, professors and historians gathered at the White House for a screening of “I Came to Testify,” from PBS’s acclaimed Women, War & Peace series, and a panel discussion about how this story continues to shape international law. The event is part of the National Endowment for the Humanities “Bridging Cultures through Law” film series, which encourages conversation between law students, legal experts, and the people who lived the history.