While military convoys rumble down city streets, planes crisscross the skies, and suicide bombers wreak havoc on the streets, civilians in Afghanistan struggle through terror, lawlessness, deaths and PTSD to hold their families together against extreme odds. In Kabul, women politicians and activists prepare under threat of death to protect women’s rights past the general elections and the pullout of the NATO troops in 2014. In Kandahar, the spiritual homeland of the Taliban, US-supported cottage industry projects, such as Kandahar Treasure, race to put destitute war widows and abandoned women on a slow path to a sustainable future before the international community begins to disengage.
Kalpana Biswas, a documentary filmmaker based in Pittsburgh, recently spent several weeks in Afghanistan filming the daily lives of women and children who have known nothing but war. What does “normal life” look like in Kabul and Kandahar today? And what should the international community focus on for a stable peace in the region? Kalpana will share clips from her documentary film in progress and discuss the complex issues raised by what she witnessed and heard from a wide cross-section of civilians in Afghanistan.
Sponsoring organizations: American Friends Service Committee PA, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Thomas Merton Center, Code Pink, Veterans for Peace, Coalition for Peace Action, Western PA