Remembering the Past toward Healing our Future: April 23 (Bosnia)

April 2014 Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month

If a person cannot see horror, then he can neither see beauty, nor sadness, anger, fear or love.
– Alexander Lowen

Remembering the Past toward Healing our Future

A free six-event commemorative film series featuring stories of survivors and their children

I Came to Testify (2011)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 7-9pm

California State University, Long Beach
Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center
6200 Atherton Street Long Beach, CA 90815
campus map
(Please see below for PARKING and fee details.)
Speakers: David Kaye, Ivana Ivkovic Kelley, Amanda Meek, Lejla Tricic

Please note: Attendance at this event involves a two-prong registration process as an actual ticket is required. When you RSVP on Living Ubuntu’s main event site, you will immediately be forwarded to the Carpenter Center web site for the second part of the process. Please be aware that when you leave the Living Ubuntu site, you will not be returned there after the Carpenter site.

Community booths from partnering organizations will be set up in the lobby before the event, beginning at 6p.

Film Synopsis:

When the Balkans exploded into war in the 1990s, reports that tens of thousands of women were being systematically raped as a tactic of ethnic cleansing captured the international spotlight. I Came to Testify is the moving story of how a group of 16 women who had been imprisoned by Serb-led forces in the Bosnian town of Foca broke history’s great silence – and stepped forward to take the witness stand in an international court of law. Now, as Bosnia is once again in the headlines with the capture of Bosnian Serb wartime general Ratko Mladic, the women agree to speak for the first time since then, on condition that we keep their identities hidden for their protection. “Witness 99,” who was held at gunpoint for a month with dozens of other women in a sports hall in the center of town remembers: “We were treated like animals. But that was the goal: to kill a woman’s dignity.” Their remarkable courage resulted in a triumphant verdict that led to new international laws about sexual violence in war. Returning to Bosnia 16 years after the end of the conflict, I Came to Testify also explores the chasm between this seismic legal shift and the post-war justice experienced by most of Bosnia’s women war survivors. Narrated by Matt Damon.


David Kaye is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Law at the University of California at Irvine School of Law. He holds a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and a J.D. from Boalt Hall, University of California at Berkeley. He previously taught at the UCLA School of Law (where he founded its International Human Rights Program and International Justice Clinic, working on projects dealing with accountability for international crimes around the world), Whittier Law School and Georgetown University Law Center. He served as Deputy Legal Counselor, Embassy of the United States, The Hague, The Netherlands (2002-2005) and Attorney-Adviser, Office of the Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C. (1995-2002). His scholarship and teaching focus on public international law, especially international humanitarian law, accountability for massive violations of human rights, and the law governing use of force. He has been published in numerous law journals as well as in the International Herald Tribune, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Foreign Affairs, among others. He has lectured throughout California, in the United States, and in China, Turkey and Israel.

Ivana Ivkovic Kelley received an MFA from the University of Southern California.  After grad school, she worked in all facets of the industry, from development to production to worldwide distribution by managing her own international clients for 20th Century Fox.  Prior to USC, she interviewed survivors and translated testimonies of systematic rape during the war in Bosnia, spending her undergrad years researching its use as a means of ethnic cleansing.  As a result this work and traveling into enemy-occupied territory to deliver food and medical supplies to the refugee centers where they lived, she was interviewed twice by NPR, by a number of domestic newspapers, and was invited to speak at the University of Stockholm and the University of Uppsala during the last year of the Bosnian war. Roughly four years ago, she left her studio job in order to dedicate herself completely to a documentary project that had been on the back burner for years, but the timing now felt right.  Ivana hopes this film will shed more light on the issue of sexualized violence during conflict.  She feels that these stories are as relevant today as they were during those times of conflict, and as long as women and girls continue to be targeted as the cheapest and most destructive type of warfare, used increasingly in conflicts all over, and as long as the survivors continue to fight for justice, these stories will never get old.

Amanda Meek, as Education Coordinator, oversees all Arts for Life events at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center.  She received her B.A. in Theatre Performance from California State University, Long Beach and her M.A. in Theatre Education from Emerson College where she assistant directed the East Coast Premiere of “The Hundred Dresses.”  Amanda taught theatre and dance at Chelsea High School in Massachusetts as well as running her own theatre company “This and That” in Boston.  She also teaches dance at numerous Southern California dance studios as well as theatre master classes at various high schools.

Lejla Tricic is currently a professor, instructor and lecturer in Riverside California. In 1995, Ms. Tricic sat on a large American military airplane with her blind husband desperately trying to
escape atrocities in her native Bosnia during a genocide that killed 250,000 people.
She wondered what could possibly lie ahead for them as refugees. Ms. Tricic enrolled at California State University in Fresno in 1998 and worked as a teaching assistant at the university and as an instructor at the Clovis College Center operated by State Center Community College District. Ms. Tricic holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, Nonction Option, and graduated with Distinction. She also holds a Master of Arts in English, Literature Option. She is a 2006 University Graduate Medalist from California State University, Fresno. The University Graduate Medal is the top honor given to a graduate student selected from among nine graduate Dean’s Medalists chosen as outstanding students in each of the university’s eight schools and colleges of academic discipline and the Division of Student Aairs. She was also the Arts and Humanities Dean’s Medalist as an undergraduate in 2001 when she earned a B.A. in English and graduated magna cum laude. As a writer, Ms. Tricic has received attention from notable scholars, doctoral programs and publishers and she contributed to an anthology published by Cambridge University Press. Her work was recognized by granting her the Lillian Faderman Award for nonction. Ms. Tricic served on the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno library project organizing committee and has mentored participants in the Young Writers Conference. She applied what she had learned at Fresno State in 2004, teaching English and computer skills to the blind in Sarajevo. “Belonging to the Fresno State community was a crucial experience in my life,” she said. “It shaped me as a writer, teacher and person. I will never cease to honor the country that bore me nor the one that gave me a chance to help myself and others,
contributing at least a bit to a better tomorrow of future generations.”

Parking for this event can be found in Lot 12 on the CSULB campus, at the corner of Atherton and Palo Verde. There is a $5 fee to park there. See campus map.

Living Ubuntu, in collaboration with Amnesty International – Irvine, community partners and six local academic institutions, presents a six-event commemorative film series featuring the stories of survivors and their children. April is Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month, and each film commemorates a genocide that started during April. Living Ubuntu provides education about global traumas as part of its mission to heal trauma in order to promote peace. All events are free and open to the public. The fifth one is about the Bosnia genocide. All details are above.

For info on all six events, a complete list of community partners, and to RSVP, click here.
Questions? Contact us at:, or 949.891.2005


One thought on “Remembering the Past toward Healing our Future: April 23 (Bosnia)

  1. Pingback: To be alive is to be vulnerable. | Living Ubuntu Blog

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