Women, War and Peace

When considering the images of war, a person may think about what one sees in Hollywood films or war documentaries: men with guns. Allow a person to ponder further and he or she may never think up the opposite: women and peace.

SIUE students watch an extended viewing of "Pray the Devil Back to Hell."

 PBS Television, however, will be starting a new series in October called “Women, War and Peace.” The five part series will allow audiences to reexamine their understanding of warfare through face-to-face interviews with the women who have been behind the scenes in previous and current war-ravaged countries such as Colombia and Afghanistan.

 Abigail Disney, producer of one of the episodes named “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” which focuses on Liberia, showed a special extended screening to SIUE students and faculty members last week.

The screening highlighted the plight of Liberia from about 10 years ago to the present and how the women facing the brunt of the war rose up to oppose it. However difficult it would be to watch the documentary, Disney told her audience that there would be a happy ending.

Stll image from "Pray the Devil back to Hell"

 The screening was the first of the many events the Women’s Studies program has lined up for the fall semester.

 “It’s a story that wouldn’t have been told if Abigail Disney wouldn’t have told it,” said Catherine Seltzer, director of the Women’s Studies program. “We’re so glad that she came to show this to us. Her list of accomplishments is so long that I would run out of time telling you about them.”

 Disney said there are a million more stories just like the one she has told through her documentary about Liberia, but we never hear of them because the bulk of the U.S. news resources choose not to cover those topics, at least not as prevalently as other stories.

Abigail Disney speaks to SIUE students about her film "Pray the Devil Back to Hell."

The series will begin at 10 p.m. every Tuesday starting Oct. 11 and will end on Nov. 8. For more information about the movement in Liberia and other countries, go to www.womenwarandpeace.org and www.praythedevilbacktohell.com.

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