Lysistrata rising: A women’s worldwide protest against war

Lysistrata project poster (© Oakland Mus of California)

Protests against the war in Iraq took many forms: demonstrations, marches, candlelight vigils. But one of the most unique and peaceful actions took place on March 3, 2003. In more than 1000 venues in 58 countries, actors performed or read Aristophanes’ ancient Greek comedy “Lysistrata.” In the play, women of Athens stage a sex strike to end a twenty-year civil war. Organisers of the protest in Amsterdam reflect on the use of comedy as a weapon, the use of sex as blackmail and the role of artists in times of crisis.

Producer: David Swatling

Broadcast: June 23, 2003