warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Irvine Youth Learn About "Women, War And Peace"

Agnus Dei Farrant |
October 9, 2011 | 12:23 p.m. PDT

Assistant News Editor

Center for Living Peace in Irvine (photo by Agnus-Dei Farrant).
Center for Living Peace in Irvine (photo by Agnus-Dei Farrant).
The Center for Living Peace (CLP) in Irvine hosted the event, “A day of service for women, war and peace” Saturday as part of its series, Living Peace Projects. PBS SoCal, CLP and the University of California, Irvine sponsored the event. Approximately 35 people attended, mostly girls and young women.

The event was a local promotion of the PBS series, “Women, War and Peace,” that tells stories of women from war and conflict zones. The audience was primarily 11 to 24-year-olds.

Former professional tennis player Maja Muric spoke about growing up in Croatia during the Yugoslav civil wars during the 1990s.

“The one thing I can remember is the despair and pain on people’s faces,” Muric said. “A lot of these people ran away from home with nothing, just the clothes on their backs and things they could carry in their two hands. A lot of people lost their loved ones and had no family or nowhere to go, and no future. I think seeing people lose hope is one of the hardest things to watch.”

Muric discussed the 1995 massacre of more than 8,000 Srebrenica male citizens during 10 days by Bosnian Serb forces. She recalled sniper shootings in her hometown of Zagreb, and seeing a 12-year-old boy shot in front of her. 

“I would like people to learn from [the Yugoslav wars] and to not allow these things to happen,” Muric said. “If I could rid one thing from the world, it would be ignorance. I think war is a result of ignorance, prejudice and hate.”

Members of UCI’s Center for Unconventional Security Affairs (CUSA) presented their experiences with women in war zones including Afghanistan, Rwanda, Chad, and Pakistan.

“Global conflict is something I really care for,” Crystal Garcia, 24, said. “I think it’s great this event was geared toward younger girls so they understand these things at a young age. This is our future generation.”

CUSA artist in residence Pamela Donohoo painted a canvas on the ground through an improvisational dance performance.

The PBS SoCal education team divided the audience into multiple age groups for interactive workshops.

“I facilitated a ‘Share your story’ module,” said Alyssa Torrez, PBS SoCal coordinator for education outreach. “We’re trying to emphasize that sharing your story is a way that you can make a difference. You can help other young women and inspire them to become leaders and become these world changers that we see in these documentaries.”

The event ended with a screening of Abigail Disney’s documentary, “Pray the devil back to hell.”

“It changed my point of view,” Katrina Garcia, 12, said. “Women here can be so extravagant and on the other side of the world, people are struggling just to get food in their mouths and their children’s. It was thought-provoking, I liked it.” 

The five-documentary “Women, war and peace” series was created by Pamela Hogan, Disney and Gini Reticker.

The discussion will continue 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at UCI. Actress Geena Davis and Disney will talk about the making of the documentary series. 


Reach assistant news editor Agnus-Dei Farrant

Best way to find more great content from Neon Tommy?

Or join our email list below to enjoy Neon Tommy News Alerts.




Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.