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And if the war ends tomorrow – a film by Martyna Wojciechowska

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Today is the premiere of the documentary “What if the war ends tomorrow?” telling the story of the strength of Ukrainian women carrying a gigantic burden. – Thousands of women experienced war rapes – said the film’s co-director, Martyna Wojciechowska, a reporter and traveler, on TVN24.

Documentary “What if the war ends tomorrow?” presents heartbreaking stories of women who have experienced violence in the process war in Ukraine and who want to be called not “victims” but “survivors”. Iryna, Galyna, Yulia, Ludmyla were in Russian captivity. They took Iryna from her home in Donetsk in 2014, Ludmyla was “arrested” in 2019, Yulia in 2021, Galyna in 2022. Their stories remind us that the war in Ukraine it has been going on for nine years now.

Martyna Wojciechowska, co-director of the film, president of the UNAWEZA foundation and a traveler known from the program “Woman at the End of the World”, spoke about the film on TVN24. She recalled her visit to Kiev.

– I was standing in the main square, seeing photos of the heroes of this war. I realized that I was only looking at photos of men. And these were really thousands of photos of thousands of heroes. It’s as if we completely forgot that there are also thousands of women who are heroines of this war and that’s how we should talk and think about them, she said.

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Exhibition in Kiev dedicated to the defenders of MariupolSERGEY DOLZHENKO/PAP/EPA

She pointed out that these women became “heroes because they experienced violence, sexual violence, they wage their own war.”

– The women I talked to during the making of this documentary say that their fight in this war is to speak out loud about what happened, we know that thousands of women experienced war rape, and men too, but in smaller numbers. We know that those people who have this experience with themselves range in age from four to eighty-two years old. These are the official data, she described.

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– It is very important not to victimize women who experienced war rapes, not to use the word “victim” at all, I am very sensitive to this – noted the reporter. – In the way we think about it and talk about women who experienced sexual violence during the war, we really have a lot to do – she said.

Wojciechowska concluded that war rape is “the cheapest possible weapon” used “in every war since forever.” – It’s just that it hasn’t been talked about until now – she said. – The Russians still specialize in using the cheapest weapons. This is a crime against humanity and should be treated as such, she emphasized.

Martyna Wojciechowska in the TVN24 studioTVN24

Premiere of “What if the war ends tomorrow?” on Sunday at 5 p.m. in the Warsaw Kinoteka. After the screening, a debate led by TVN24 journalist Małgorzata Łaszcz.

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Main photo source: TVN24

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