Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Behind the Wire Guest Speakers Series

Behind the Wire Programs
Get Informed!



A number of special Behind the Wire public programs are scheduled in conjunction with the exhibition. Distinguished scholars, humanitarians, survivors of war and experts in their fields offer a series of talks on issues related to international conflicts and consequences of war. Stay tuned for more talks currently being scheduled for January and February 2008.

November 7, 2007, 7-9pm
Behind the Wire Exhibit Opening and Reception
Special Guest: Katy Hedalen performs We’ll Meet Again


We’ll Meet Again, composed by Ross Parker and lyrics by Hughie Charles was popularized by British singer Vera Lynn during World War II. The song resonated with soldiers who were going off to war leaving their loved ones behind. West Vancouver soprano singer Katy Hedalen sings We’ll Meet Again as a special tribute to those who served and dedicated their lives.

November 14, 7-8:30pm
Guest speaker: Major Harjit Sajjan, Reservist, British Columbia Regiment, Reconnaissance Squadron
Topic: The Canadian Forces in Afghanistan Protecting Canadians-Rebuilding Afghanistan

Major Harjit Saijan, a Reservist with the British Columbia Regiment where he is Officer Commanding, Reconnaissance Squadron, served in Afghanistan in 2006 under Brigadier General David Fraser, Commander of the Multi-National Brigade. Major Sajjan shares his personal experiences and discusses the Canadian Forces contribution in Afghanistan.

November 21, 7-8:30pm
Guest speaker: Lauryn Oates, Vice-President, Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan
Topic: Women and War in Afghanistan


Lauryn Oates is a professional human rights advocate and international development practitioner, with expertise in gender and women’s human rights. Since 1996, Oates has worked as an activist for women's rights in Afghanistan as founder of the Vancouver and Montreal Chapters of the non-profit solidarity network, Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan. She managed the CIDA-funded Women's Rights in Afghanistan Fund and other projects supporting women's movements and peace building in the Middle East and Central Asia from 2002-2006 at the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development. Her talk focuses on how the ongoing war in Afghanistan has affected the lives of Afghan women.

November 27, 7pm at the West Vancouver Memorial Library (1950 Marine Drive, West Vancouver)
Special guest: David Paperny, President, Paperny Films
Documentary Screening of Forced March to Freedom, Paperny Films, 2001


David Paperny’s documentary film Forced March to Freedom, is based on a book of the same name written and illustrated by Robert Buckham. The film illustrates the experiences of Canadian air personnel imprisoned in German PoW camps during World War II.

At the end of the Second World War, ten thousand prisoners of war anticipated liberation courtesy the advancing Russian Red Army. The retreating Germans forced the prisoners to march out of Stalag Luft III in the dead of winter toward the center of a collapsing Third Reich in order to keep the PoW’s as hostages. Forced March to Freedom tells the story of this amazing test of endurance through the eyes of Robert Buckham, a bomber pilot and artist who produced countless sketches and watercolours of prison camp life, as well as one of the only chronicles of the forced march itself. Interviews with Buckham and other PoW's accentuate the sketches of camp life and the march as well as the few actual photographs of the march known to exist. The film producer David Paperny gives you the inside account of making the documentary film.

November 28, 7-8:30pm
Guest speaker: Brian Seward, MMM.CD, Rtd., 6 Field Engineer Squadron
Topic: Close to Home: Peace Keeping Missions Abroad

Brian L. Seward came to Canada after serving in the Royal Navy and Merchant Navy from 1944 to 1955. He joined the 6th Field Engineers Squadron in North Vancouver in 1962 as a Sapper and served 28 years in all ranks up to Sergeant-Major and Captain. Served in NATO (Germany) in 1972, he attended numerous joint exercises with the US 407th Engineers, building bridges, repairing roads and removing explosives. Seward was awarded the Order of Military Merit for his dedicated and exceptional service by Governor General Edward Schreyer in Ottawa 1980.

December 5, 7-8:30pm
Guest speaker: Charles O. Lomudak, Settlement Worker, Vancouver School Board; Volunteer, UNICEF Canada
Topic: Born and Raised in War in Sudan

Since 1983, the ongoing civil war in Sudan caused the death of nearly two million people-one in five of the southern Sudanese population. When the war broke out, Charles Lomudak was only 10 years old. As the war intensified, homes were burned down, many Sudanese were repeatedly tortured, and thousands of boys were forced to become red army soldiers by the rebels. Lomudak and his family hid in bushes during the day, barely keeping themselves alive by eating wild plants and fruits, and traveled after dark moving away from the fighting. He spent several years in refugee camps in neighbouring countries, lost two brothers due to the war and was recently reunited with his mother after 21 years of separation. In this talk, Lomudak gives his personal account of growing up in Sudan where he endured unimaginable brutality.

January 16, 2008, 7-8:30pm
Guest speaker: Jenny Peterson, Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, Political Science Department, University of British Columbia
Topic: Rebuilding Kosovo: The Pros and Cons of Eight Years of International Intervention


Jenny Peterson is a Post-Doctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia where she teaches courses related to political violence. Her research, which focuses on 'war economies' and peace-building initiatives in post conflict states, took her to Kosovo in 2005 and 2006 where she lived and conducted research on the difficulties of rebuilding and preparing the territory for its as of yet unknown future.

January 30, 2008, 7-8:30pm
Guest speaker: Benjamin Perrin, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, University of British Columbia
Topic: Prosecuting Nazi War Criminals: Examining the Foundation of Modern War Crimes Trials


Benjamin Perrin is an Assistant Professor at the UBC Faculty of Law, and is a Faculty Associate at the Liu Institute for Global Issues. His teaching and research interests include domestic and international criminal law, international humanitarian law, comparative constitutional law and human trafficking. Professor Perrin has advised judges at modern war crimes tribunals, including the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague. He will discuss the legacy of the post-World War II war crimes tribunals and their contribution to modern efforts to bring war criminals to justice in countries like Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Cambodia and the former Yugoslavia.


Admission to the Behind the Wire Speaker Series is by donation. All proceeds made through these programs will be donated to charities in support of humanitarian activities.
Photo: Lauryn Oates of Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan
Photo courtesy of Lauryn Oates

The West Vancouver Museum thanks the financial support of Mercedes-Benz and North Shore News for this exhibition and Speaker Series.


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