Wednesday, March 14, 2007

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION- Film Screening of "The Crying Sun"

Distrib. by: Central-Eurasia-L - Announcement List for Central Eurasian Studies

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION- Film Screening of "The Crying Sun"

Posted by: Almut Rochowanski <>

We are writing to invite your collaboration on the upcoming outreach
and advocacy campaign that Memorial Chechnya is conducting in
partnership with WITNESS, centered around a documentary shot by
Chechen film-maker and human rights activist Zarema Mukusheva, titled
"The Crying Sun". We are teaming up with colleagues at the Chechnya
Advocacy Network, who gracefully offered their expertise and support
for campaign implementation in the US.

We are approaching you concerning a possible documentary film
screening and panel discussion at your university in the second part
of April or early May, to reach out to students and faculty and raise
awareness about human rights challenges and socio-economic breakdown
in present-day Chechnya. Please let us know if you, your colleagues or
a relevant student group are willing to host an event which ideally
would include a video screening (either the full 25-min or a short
3-min version), a report presentation, a panel discussion (by
representatives of Memorial Chechnya: Zarema Mukusheva, Ekaterina
Sokiryanskaya, and Shamil Tangiev - the speakers' bios are below) and
a photo exhibit. Since Memorial's and WITNESS's funds are limited, we
would greatly appreciate if you could provide full or partial funding
for travel in the US to your university.

In the aftermath of two wars and countless abuses against the general
population, Chechnya is a land of devastation and impunity. In July
last year, Memorial and WITNESS set out to produce a video addressing
the impact of the Chechen wars on villages in mountainous areas of
Chechnya. Completed in February 2007, "The Crying Sun" focuses on the
life stories of people "disappeared" and/or displaced from the village
of Zumsoy and their struggle to maintain cultural identity and
traditions. By helping to articulate their voices in the public and
policy spheres, the video calls on local and federal authorities to
conduct investigations into abuses, end impunity for human rights
violations, and restore policies for the return of villagers to their
ancestral homes. Among international and US audiences, the video will
help bring visibility to calls for justice in Chechnya as well as the
impact of war on ordinary, rural people and stimulate a debate about
sustainable development in high mountain regions.

Memorial Chechnya is also currently preparing an accompanying report
to be released in early April 2007.

The most recent version of the "The Crying Sun" is available on the
WITNESS FTP Server. Please write to for
instructions on how to access the server and download the video.
WITNESS can also send you a DVD upon request.

We are looking forward to your proposals and to working with you on
this important issue.

Thank you and best regards,

Ekaterina Sokirianskaia, Memorial Chechnya
Violeta Krasnic, WITNESS
Almut Rochowanski, Chechnya Advocacy Network

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