“I Have To Speak” – Voices of Female Ex-Combatants: Special event

03/02/2020

NOTE: UNFORTUNATELY, WE HAVE HAD TO POSTPONE THIS EVENT OUT OF CORONAVIRUS PRECAUTIONS. THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST.

Women in conflict are mostly presented as victims – in the media, in academia and in the international community. They are seen as victims of displacement, of violence, as trying to keep their children safe and mourn their husbands and sons who have been killed. After conflict, if the role of women is acknowledged, they are imagined as peacebuilders who can bring torn communities back together, although their participation in actual peacebuilding processes is often negligible.

We do not hear about the many different stories of women in conflict that do not fit this narrative. The voices of female ex-combatants, who have themselves actively participated in the struggle, are often excluded from accounts of these conflicts. Some of them are peacebuilders now, some homemakers, some politicians, and some activists. They have transformed the agency they had during the conflict into various forms of peacetime agency.

Join our film premiere, booklet launch and panel discussion to hear the stories of female ex-combatants. .

NOTE: UNFORTUNATELY, WE HAVE HAD TO POSTPONE THIS EVENT OUT OF CORONAVIRUS PRECAUTIONS. THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST.

EVENT POSTPONED

at BMZ Marie-Schlei-Saal, Stresemannstraße 94, 10963 Berlin

Please bring photo identification to enter the building

About the event

Panel discussion with:

  • Shadia Marhaban (tbc) (via video link), international mediator and peacebuilding practitioner from Aceh and former member of the Free Aceh Movement’s (GAM) peace negotiation team in Helsinki

Video messages from:

  • Grace Nitunga, Burundi, working on the economic and psychosocial reintegration of women ex-combatants
  • Lila Sharma, Nepal, head of the Former People’s Liberation Army Women Foundation, former Battalion Commander
  • Other guests to be confirmed

Background

Six female ex-combatants from four different countries, Indonesia (Aceh), Burundi, Philippines (Mindanao) and Nepal, collected and filmed stories of their peers. They reflect on their reasons for joining the movements, their time as women in war, and how their lives unfolded once peace was restored. Theirs are stories of friendship and camaraderie, of life and death, of perseverance and resistance, and of rebuilding lives after war and continuing the struggle in peaceful ways.

They produced a booklet and a movie that tell the stories of women in and after war through the eyes of female combatants themselves. They create their own narratives and choose how they want to be presented to a wider audience. Telling their story in their own words not only gives a more truthful account of the actual experiences of women in conflict but also helps the audience to imagine alternative roles for women in post-conflict society.

Find out more about the project.