January 16, 2012: International Youth Speaker to Share Story of War and the Transformative Power of the Arts


January 16th, 2012

PETERBOROUGH – International Youth Speaker to Share Story of War and the Transformative Power of the Arts  

Courageous, honest and inspiring are just a few words that have been used to describe UNICEF Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict and Recipient of the Women’s Refugee Commission Voice of Courage Award, Mariatu Kamara, who will be speaking at the KWIC World Issues Café at Showplace Peterborough on January 28th, 2012, in conjunction with ReFrame Film Festival.

Mariatu’s keynote presentation, “Youth, War and the Arts: A Journey to Transformation will be a personal sharing of her journey to healing and reconciliation, which began with her introduction to the performing arts as a member of the Aberdeen Theatre Troupe in an Amputee Camp for war-wounded people in the outskirts of Freetown, Sierra Leone in West Africa where she was born and raised. Her harrowing experiences as a child victim of war and its aftermath are the subject of her memoir, The Bite of the Mango (Annick Press, 2008). Mariatu’s breathtaking story of courage, hope and inspiration will be followed by the ReFrame Saturday night feature film, To Be Heard (USA, 87 mins), a documentary which narrates the experiences of high school youth who are trying to transform their lives through written and spoken word.

This unique evening of storytelling, film and live performance will appeal to young and old alike as an opportunity to explore the connections between issues of global social justice, poverty, the human spirit, and the possibilities for personal and collective transformation and reconciliation through the arts. 

A welcoming Mix & Mingle Reception catered by Black Honey will be held at ArtSpace (378 Alymer Street) from 6-7pm before the Café presentation.  Community members will have an opportunity to meet Mariatu Kamara in person for conversation and book signing, and enjoy a special guest appearance by  Allison Russell and Awna Teixeira of the fabulous band Po’Girl. Tickets are $10.00 for students and $25 regular price and include admission to “Youth, War and the Arts: A Journey to Transformation” and reserved A-level seating at the ReFrame Saturday night feature film, beginning at 7:30pm at Showplace.

Mix & Mingle with Mariatu tickets can be purchased from the Kawartha World Issues Centre in ESC B101 at Trent University, Titles Bookstore and The SPILL on George Street in downtown Peterborough. Donations will be accepted for the Mariatu Foundation which raises money to create homes for abused women and children in Sierra Leone. Copies of Bite of the Mango can be purchased during the reception for signing.

For more information about the KWIC World Issues Café and fundraising reception, please visit www.kwic.info or call 705-748-1680.


6-7pm Mix & Mingle Reception & Booksigning at ArtSpace catered by Black Honey with special guest appearance by Allison Russell and Awna Teixeira of Po’Girl.

7:30pm: The KWIC Issues Café presentation at Showplace “Youth, War and the Arts: A Journey to Transformation” followed by To Be Heard (USA, 87 mins), the Saturday Night Feature Film.

9:45pm: Late night Slam Poetry at Market Hall

Related Information:

1. Last year, KWIC World Issues Café was launched with internationally renowned author and peace activist, Dr. Izzeldan Abuelaish, the Palestinian doctor who wrote “I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey (Random House, 2009). His Peterborough visit inspired collaboration between his foundation, Daughters for Life and Trent University to bring young girls from the Middle East to study at Trent.

2. In 2005, a group of 10 local high school students with the PCVS Sierra Leone Group visited Sierra Leone to participate in a learning exchange using theatre for community education, specifically HIV/AIDS education for youth and democracy building.

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Mariatu Kamara will be available for personal interviews from 5:45pm – 6:30pm at ArtSpace at x Alymer Street. For more information or to arrange for an interview, please contact Julie Cosgrove, KWIC Coordinator at 705-748-1680. We really hope you can join us!