Iron Ladies of Liberia is a unique look behind the scenes at the rebirth of a nation and democracy in action, under the steady hand of women determined to make history and move their country forward. The film will be shown on Thursday, October 25, at 5 p.m. in Cohen Hall, room 203, across from the Fine Arts Gallery. The film complements the gallery’s fall exhibition Long Story Bit by Bit: Liberia Retold, Photography by Tim Hetherington.
Having won a hotly contested election with the overwhelming support of women across Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf faced the daunting task of lifting her country from debt and devastation. She turned to a remarkable team of women, appointing them to such positions as police chief, finance minister, minister of justice, commerce minister, and minister of gender. Iron Ladies of Liberia follows these women behind the scenes during their critical first year in office as they tackle an indolent bureaucracy, black markets, and the omnipresent threat of violent riots. Highlighting the challenges that African countries currently face, this film provides an uplifting example of women who have become the backbone of change.
Following the film, Caree Banton, doctoral candidate in the department of history, will lead a discussion. Banton’s research focuses on migration from the West Indies (particularly Barbados) to Africa (particularly Liberia) and its implications to experiences of freedom, citizenship and black nation-building.
The film screening of Iron Ladies of Liberia is cosponsored by the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery and Women’s and Gender Studies. For more information on the film, including a short preview, visit this link.