SAN FRANCISCO – Filmed at New York's The Town Hall theater and hosted by best-selling author and comedian Baratunde Thurston, TED Talks: War & Peace explores the impact of war through the eyes of those who have experienced its every aspect: soldiers, journalists, doctors, mothers and more. Featuring thought-provoking ideas, short films and a special musical performance by Rufus Wainwright, TED Talks: War & Peace explores the complex issues surrounding conflict and how we can build a better future without it. The second in a series of three TED Talks television specials slated for 2016, TED Talks: War & Peace premieres Monday, May 30, 2016, 9:00 to 10:00pm ET (check local listings) on PBS.
Featured speakers and performers include:
•Former Marine-turned-actor Adam Driver shares how the world of theater recreated the camaraderie he missed after the military, and how drama can be used to help returning veterans transition to civilian life;
•Journalist Sebastian Junger believes that the prevalence of PTSD may have more to do with the angry and fractured America that vets come home to than their actual combat experiences;
•Jamila Raqib promotes effective strategies of non-violent protest to people living under tyranny and shares encouraging examples of successful change around the world;
•Humanitarian Samantha Nutt has been to some of the most war-torn places on earth and draws parallels between conflict zones in the world’s poorest nations and the proliferation of cheap automatic weapons and small arms; and
•Christianne Boudreau conveys the emotional story of her son’s conversion to radical Islam and subsequent death while fighting for ISIS in Syria.
TED Talks: War & Peace also includes three original short films produced by ITVS: Talk of War, by Geeta Gandbhir and Perri Peltz, featuring parents and their children talking about the strain that deployment takes on military families; All Roads Point Home, by Michèle Stephenson and Joe Brewster, about Major General Linda Singh, Maryland’s highest-ranking soldier, who served in Afghanistan and Kosovo and was called upon to use her skills in the Baltimore riots of 2015; and Bionic Soldier, by Anna Bowers, Mark Mannucci and Jonathan Halperin, about new advances in biotechnology that allow severely wounded vets to once again lead active lives. Also featured is a musical performance by singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright.
TED Talks: War & Peace is the second in a series of three TED Talks PBS specials scheduled for 2016: Science and Wonder premiered March 30 and Education Revolution will premiere later this year on PBS.
TED Talks: War & Peace is a co-production of TED and the Independent Television Service (ITVS) and is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
TED Talks: War & Peace is curated by Chris Anderson and Juliet Blake. The executive producer is Juliet Blake and Allen Kelman is the producer. TED content director is Kelly Stoetzel. Executive producers for ITVS are Tamara Gould and Sally Jo Fifer.
TED Talks: War & Peace is directed by Linda Mendoza.
ABOUT THE HOST
BARATUNDE THURSTON is a professionally funny writer, television host, and technologically connected human being. A regular on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, he has worn many hats in service of providing insight, inspiration, and laughs. His creative and inquisitive mind, forged by his mother’s lessons and polished by a philosophy degree from Harvard, have found expression in the pages of Fast Company, the screens of HBO, Comedy Central, CNN, MSNBC, BBC, the sound waves of NPR and roughly one bajillion podcasts, including Our National Conversation About Conversations About Race, which he co-hosts with Raquel Cepeda and Tanner Colby. He has hosted shows on Discovery's Science Channel, Yahoo, AOL, YouTube, and Pivot TV, where he was co-host of TakePart Live with Meghan McCain and Jacob Soboroff. Far from simply appearing in media, Baratunde is also helping define its future. In 2006 he co-founded Jack & Jill Politics, a black political blog whose coverage of the 2008 Democratic National Convention has been archived by the Library of Congress. From 2007 to 2012, he helped bring one of America's finest journalistic institutions into the future, serving as Director of Digital for The Onion. He has been a judge for the Knight Foundation News Challenge, an affiliate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and a director’s fellow at the MIT Media Lab. His book, How to Be Black, was published by HarperCollins in February 2012 and is a New York Times bestseller. In 2012, he co-founded Cultivated Wit with two former Onion employees, Brian Janosch and Craig Cannon. The ACLU of Michigan honored Thurston “for changing the political and social landscape one laugh at a time,” The Root named him to its list of 100 most influential African Americans, and Fast Company listed him as one of the 100 Most Creative People In Business. He has advised the Obama White House and serves on the National Board of BUILD, an organization that uses entrepreneurship-based experiential learning to propel underserved youth through high school and onto college and career success.
ABOUT THE PARTICIPANTS, IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE
ADAM DRIVER was recently seen in J. J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens and will soon be seen in Jeff Nichols’ Midnight Special and Martin Scorsese's Silence. His other film credits include Hungry Hearts, While We're Young, This Is Where I Leave You, Tracks, Inside Llewyn Davis, Lincoln, Frances Ha, and J. Edgar. Driver also stars on HBO's critically acclaimed series Girls. His performance in Girls has garnered him three Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. Driver graduated from Juilliard in 2009 and is the co-founder of the non-profit organization Arts in the Armed Forces (AITAF) and is a former Marine who was with 1/1 weapons company at Camp Pendleton, CA.
SEBASTIAN JUNGER thundered onto the media landscape with his non-fiction book The Perfect Storm. A correspondent for Vanity Fair and ABC News, Junger has covered stories all across the globe. From 2007 to 2008, Junger and photographer Tim Hetherington embedded with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team in Afghanistan. They spent intensive time with the soldiers at the Restrepo outpost in the Korengal Valley, which saw more combat than any other part of Afghanistan. The experience became Junger's book WAR, and the documentary Restrepo, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2011. Junger and Hetherington planned to make a second documentary on the topic, Korengal, meant to help soldiers and civilians alike understand the fear, courage and complexity involved in combat. It is a project that Junger decided to carry on after Hetherington was killed in Libya while covering the civil war. His latest book, Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, is scheduled to be published May 2016.
JAMILA RAQIB serves as executive director of the Albert Einstein Institution and as a research affiliate of the Center for International Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She works closely with Dr. Gene Sharp, the world’s foremost scholar on strategic nonviolent action. She has represented the Institution at a number of domestic and international events on a host of issues related to its programs, research and policy studies, educational initiatives and fundraising. In 2009, she collaborated with Dr. Sharp to create a new curriculum titled Self-Liberation: A Guide to Strategic Planning for Action to End a Dictatorship or Other Oppression. The publication is intended to provide in-depth understanding of nonviolent struggle to individuals in order to enable them to develop effective strategies for their struggles.
SAMANTHA NUTT is an award-winning humanitarian, bestselling author and acclaimed public speaker. A medical doctor and a founder of the renowned international humanitarian organizations War Child Canada and War Child USA, Dr. Nutt has worked with children and their families at the front line of many of the world’s major crises – from Iraq to Afghanistan, Somalia to the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sierra Leone to Darfur, Sudan. Dr. Nutt’s critically acclaimed debut book, Damned Nations: Greed, Guns, Armies and Aid, was published in October 2011 and is a bracing account of Dr. Nutt’s work in some of the most devastated regions of the world.
CHRISTIANNE BOUDREAU, from Calgary, Canada, lost her 22-year-old son Damian when he was killed in 2014 in Syria while fighting for ISIS. She is one of the founders of Mothers for Life, a unique global network of mothers who have experienced violent jihadist radicalization in their own families.
RUFUS WAINWRIGHT is one of the great vocalists and songwriters of his generation. He has released seven studio albums, three DVDs, three live albums and has collaborated with artists including Elton John, David Byrne, Boy George, Joni Mitchell, Pet Shop Boys, Burt Bacharach, Robbie Williams and producer Mark Ronson. His much acclaimed first opera, Prima Donna, premiered at the Manchester International Festival in July 2009 and has since been presented in London, Toronto and at BAM in New York. The Canadian Opera Company commissioned Wainwright’s second opera, about Roman Emperor Hadrian, to be premiered in the fall of 2018 in Toronto.
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or fewer) delivered by today’s leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED’s annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, and made available, free, on TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman. TED's open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include TED.com, where new TED Talk videos are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from thousands of volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed; the annual million-dollar TED Prize, which funds exceptional individuals with a “wish,” or idea, to create change in the world; TEDx, which provides licenses to thousands of individuals and groups who host local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, which selects innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.
The spirit of openness is foundational to TED’s mission of spreading ideas. What was once simply a closed-door conference devoted to Technology, Entertainment and Design has become a global platform for spreading ideas across a wide variety of disciplines. Founded in 1984, the first TED conferences were held in Monterey, California. In 2006, TED experimented with putting TED Talk videos online for free – a decision that opened the doors to a radically new model for sharing ideas: today there are nearly 2,000 TED Talks available for free on TED.com, which are viewed close to a million times a day, with more than two and a half billion views total. Thanks to the support of thousands of volunteer translators, there are nearly 70,000 published translations of TED Talks in 107 languages. TEDx, the licensing program that allows communities to produce independently organized TED events, has already seen nearly 12,000 such events held in 166 countries. For more information about TED Talks Live, visit go.ted.com/tedtalkslive. Follow TED on Twitter at twitter.com/TEDTalks, on Facebook at facebook.com/TED or Instagram at instagram.com/ted.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of nearly 1,500 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television and related online services. For more information, visit cpb.org and follow us on Twitter @CPBmedia, Facebook and LinkedIn.
PBS, with 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches more than 103 million people through television and over 33 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.
Independent Television Service (ITVS) funds, presents, and promotes award-winning documentaries on public television, innovative new media projects on the Web, and the Emmy Award-winning weekly series Independent Lens on Monday nights at 10:00 p.m. on PBS. Mandated by Congress in 1988 and funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, ITVS has brought thousands of independently produced programs to American audiences. For more information, visit itvs.org.