5th Annual Tri-Co Peace Week: Refugees and issues of human rights during conflict

This year is the 5th annual Tri-Co Peace Week (April 8-11, 2009), bringing you events designed to inspire students at Swarthmore, Bryn Mawr, and Haverford, Colleges to think critically and in new ways about the struggles for and between violence and peace, about their personal relationship with these concepts, and about how they themselves can cause or promote change. The theme for this year is “refugees” and “issues of human rights during a conflict”.


Wednesday, April 8

Die-in Demonstration

A Die In is a form of protest in which participants simulate being dead by lying still on the ground. Peace Week is hosting this type of demonstration to represent the refugees of Bhutan, Palestine, Darfur, and the Congo who will die if the international community does not take immediate action to help them. This demonstration will help spread awareness of global conflicts that have left millions of innocent people displaced and at serious risk.

VENUE: Swarthmore College, Parrish Walk Way 12:30 p.m.


Gandhi – Richard Attenborough – 1982 – 188 min

This film describes the life and times of Mahatma Gandhi, Indian political leader who managed to free his country from the British rule using peaceful means and thus giving hope and inspiration for generations to come. Refreshments will be provided at the screening.

VENUE: Bryn Mawr College – Thomas 110 7:30 pm


The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo – Lisa Jackson (76 minutes)

Shot in the war zones of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), this extraordinary film sensitively yet unflinchingly brings to light the plight of women and girls caught in that country’s intractable conflicts. A survivor of rape herself, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Lisa Jackson travels through the DRC to understand what is happening and why.

The film features interviews with activists, peacekeepers, physicians, and even the indifferent rapists. But the most remarkable moments of the film come as survivors recount their personal stories, inspiring examples of resilience, resistance, courage and grace. The Greatest Silence won a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008.

Professor Niklas Hultin will moderate a discussion after the movie.

VENUE: Swarthmore College, Science Center 199, Wednesday April 8th, 8:00 PM


Thursday, April 9

Through the Human Right’s Watch Film Festival, two documentaries will be screened at Swarthmore and the director of one will be speaking as well.

The Sari Soldiers -Julie Bridgham 2008 (90m)

Filmed over three years during the most historic and pivotal time in Nepal’s modern history, The Sari Soldiers is an extraordinary story of six women’s courageous efforts to shape Nepal’s future in the midst of an escalating civil war against Maoist insurgents, and the King’s crackdown on civil liberties. When Devi, other of a 15-year-old girl, witnesses her niece being tortured and murdered by the Royal Nepal Army, she speaks publicly about the atrocity. The army abducts her daughter in retaliation, and Devi embarks on a three-year struggle to uncover her daughter’s fate and see justice done. The Sari Soldiers follows her and five other brave women, including a Maoist Commander, Royal Nepal Army Officer; a monarchist from a rural community who leads a rebellion against the Maoists; a human rights lawyer; and a young student activist organizing the protests to establish democracy. The Sari Soldiers intimately delves into the extraordinary journey of these women on all sides of the conflict, through the democratic revolution that reshapes the country’s future.

Julie Bridgham, director and producer of the documentary, The Sari Soldiers will give a talk followed by questions and answers after the screening. Professor Niklas Hultin will moderate a discussion with Julie Bridgham.

VENUE: Swarthmore College, LPAC Cinema, Thursday April 9th, 7:30 PM


Friday, April 10

Activist filmmaker Ellen Spiro will be visiting campus with the film she made with Phil Donahue, Body of War (http://www.bodyofwar.com/), named best documentary by the National Board of Review in 2007.

Body of War is an intimate feature documentary about the true face of war. Tomas Young, 25 years old, was paralyzed from a bullet to his spine – wounded after serving in Iraq for less than a week. Body of War is Tomas’ coming home story as he comes to terms with his disability and finds his own unique and passionate voice against the war. The film is produced and directed by Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro, and features two original songs by Pear Jam’s Eddie Vedder.

Body of War was named Best Documentary by the National Board of Review, and John Anderston, writing in the Washington Post, calls it “Architecturally sound, emotionally ravaging… a ferocious film.”

Ellen Spiro is a long-time video activist whose works including? DiAna’s Hair Ego (about DiAna, an AIDS-educator and hairdresser), Greetings From Out Here (lesbian and gay culture in the South), and Troop 1500 (about a Girl Scout troop that unites daughters with mothers who are serving time for serious crimes, made with Karen Bernstein) and, now, Body of War (with Phil Donahue). Spiro, Associate Professor at the University of Texas in Austin, is the recipient of a Guggenheim and two Rockefeller Fellowships and numerous other distinctions.

This event is presented by Swarthmore’s Program in Film and Media Studies and cosponsored by War News Radio, and made possible by the Department of English Literature’s Owen Moon Fund.

VENUE: Swarthmore College, LPAC Cinema, Friday, April 10th, 7:00 pm


A Cappella Concert

Impact!, Bryn Mawr’s student organization for socially responsible and sustainable business, joins with Peace Week to present a benefit concert by 4 of the Bi-Co’s a cappella groups: Counterpoint, Lavender’s Blue, Humtones, and the Night Owls.

(Donations in a sum of your choice will be requested at the door. Proceeds will go to an organization TBD).

VENUE: Bryn Mawr College – Pembroke West Dance Studio 8:00 pm


Thursday & Friday April 9-10

Handicraft fair – Shop for earrings, scarves, bags, …. etc from which proceeds will help to sponsor education of children and widows displaced by the conflict in Nepal. *1 year’s education for a child costs only $15! Everything sold in the fair will cost $15 or less. More than 50,000 children and widows have been displaced due to the conflict.


Swarthmore College, LPAC Cinema, Thursday, April 9th, 7:30- 10:00 pm

Swarthmore College, Parrish Beach, Friday April 10th, 4:00-6:00pm


Saturday, April 11

Walk For Hunger

Join Bryn Mawr’s Saturday of Service for a trip to this year’s Walk for Hunger in Philadelphia. The Walk Against Hunger is a 6-mile walk beginning and ending at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, with the goal of raising money to help struggling families meet their most basic need — food. The funds raised at the Walk Against Hunger are distributed to food cupboards and soup kitchens in our region, which are run by volunteers who work tirelessly to provide food for those in need. The Bryn Mawr College team will bring together students, faculty, and staff to raise money for food cupboards at two of the college’s partner agencies in Norristown. The walk lasts from around 9:30 am to 12:30 pm.

VENUE: Philadelphia (Bryn Mawr College / Haverford College) – 8:00 am to around 1:00 pm


Sneha Shrestha email sshrest1*at*swarthmore.edu

Aaron Zimmerman azimmer2*at*swarthmore.edu


Bryn Mawr: President’s Office, Dean’s Office, Department of Sociology, Peace and Conflict Studies Program.

Swarthmore: Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Peace and Conflict Studies Program, Intercultural Center, Dean’s Office, Political Science Department, SBC Account [I dont know what this is], French and Francophone Studies (Department of Modern Languages and Literatures), President’s Office, Film and Media Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies,? Islamic Studies Program.

And African Studies Consortium (U Penn, Swarthmore, Bryn Mawr, Haverford).