Kalyanee Mam and Host Serena Bian

What Does Love Have To Do With It? Bringing Mystery to Peacebuilding (part 3)

The subject tonight is Love
And for tomorrow night as well,
As a matter of fact
I know of no better topic
For us to discuss
Until we all
Die! – Hafiz

Crisis, war, injustice, and violence have a certain logic—and social change processes working to address these challenges carry a similar, reactionary logic. How can love help us to step out of the perceived reality of “what is possible” in building peace during conflict? Turning points in conflicts and crises are often mysterious, require acts of enormous creativity, and a willingness to risk. Social change is an artistic act, mobilizing love and prophetic imagination–and it requires us to step into the mystery of the unknown that lies beyond the far too familiar landscape of violence. In this series, join Host Serena Bian in speaking with three people who bear witness to the best and worst of humanity, holding a courageous moral imagination. Working and witnessing the front lines of injustice, war, climate change, these peacebuilders, mystics, storytellers hold space for the miraculous to emerge, refusing to be bound by a perceived reality of “what is possible.” Events in the series:

Monday, April 29 | Deepa Patel
Weds, May 29 | Aljosie Aldrich Harding
Tues, June 25 | Kalyanee Mam

Register HERE

Tuesday, June 25
10:00 am PDT - 11:30 am PDT

Zoom webinar
$20 donation suggested; no one turned away
Virtual event only

Kalyanee Mam

Born in Battambang, Cambodia, during the Khmer Rouge regime, which claimed the lives of over 2 million people, Kalyanee and her family were displaced from both their land and their home. Kalyanee has spent most of her life trying to understand the root cause of war, destruction, and displacement and how we can return home again. After returning to Cambodia and spending years living with families in the forests, on the Tonle Sap, and in the countryside, she understands how intimately connected their way of life is to the land, forests, and water and the neak ta or land and water spirits that protect them. Her debut documentary feature, A River Changes Course, won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and the Golden Gate Award for Best Feature Documentary at the San Francisco International Film Festival. Her other works include the documentary shorts Lost World, Fight for Areng Valley, Between Earth & Sky, and Cries of Our Ancestors. She has also worked as a cinematographer and associate producer on the 2011 Oscar-winning documentary Inside Job. She is currently working on a new feature documentary, The Fire and the Bird’s Nest.


Host Serena Bian

Serena is pursuing a life that remains attentive to the tenderness of a snail’s soft body and reverent to the miracle of its spiraled shell. Working with U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, Serena serves as a Special Advisor and brings a spiritual and systemic understanding to the public health crisis of loneliness and isolation. As a chaplain-in-training, Serena is pursuing questions of how we chaplain the end of extractive systems that isolate communities from themselves and one another. She is involved with multi-generational, multi-spiritual communities like the Nuns and Nones, devoted to courage, peacebuilding, and love. She participates on the Board of Commonweal and CoGenerate.