Encounters with conflict and peace
Featured videos
building peace film, Rwandan Stories
Building peace
Rwandan people are amazing! They’ve lived through things that are unimaginable. They’ve seen the worst that human beings can be, and now they seem determined to replace that with the best...
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An experiment in justice
In 1998 the government started looking at the possibility of re-introducing Rwanda’s traditional community justice process called gacaca. It was a controversial idea. Was it wise to deal with genocide crimes by handing over the responsibility to the community?...
An experiment in recovery
Back from the edge
“When you think of what this country has gone through and look at where it is now, you can hardly believe it.” But with the genocide in living memory, maintaining social stability is a complicated challenge...
An experiment in recovery
Across the country, in thousands of towns and villages, the population is taking part in an experiment in recovery which touches every area of life. ... more
A new Rwanda
History, colonialism, China's economic influence... these are all areas which are shaping the new Rwanda. Rwandans are finding themselves regularly pushed to re-think what it meant to be a Rwandan.... more
People who killed
Sorry: bringing it home
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Conventional v restorative justice
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An overloaded system
Five years after the genocide, about 120,000 alleged genocide criminals were being held in Rwanda’s prisons. The courts were swamped - it was going to take over 100 years to get through the backlog of cases. ... watch
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The importance of justice
When you take away the justice system - the police, the lawyers, the courts and the jails - and it’s just two groups facing each other with some awful event coming between them, how do you do justice?... more
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teaching gacaca
Gacaca had unexpected results. Prisoners would point to someone in the audience and say, “Why is he not in prison too? You’re asking us to tell the truth. We were in the killings together..." more
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Confronting the past
Phil Clark has spent nine years doing fieldwork research in Rwanda. He believes that the way Rwanda has dealt with the genocide has been confronting, but ultimately positive... more
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Is it soft justice?
In trying to do justice on such a scale, Rwanda hasn’t been able to deliver exactly the form of justice that a lot of genocide survivors would have liked...” more
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Has gacaca delivered justice?
400,000 suspects have gone through this process in nine years, 11,000 communities have been involved, and incredibly, this system has only cost about US$ 55 million. ... more
Mind damage
What do experiences like those do to people? How can you have any kind of normal life afterwards? Many of the stories from the genocide survivors were almost too much... more
The genocide affected everyone differently, and the best efforts at helping people recover involve listening, learning and understanding individual needs....... more
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"Today I'm twenty-five years old and all I can see are obstacles… I have set up a small business in the main street. You get used to work, but not to regrets...” more
“People are carrying some terrible things,” said Josephine. “Pain destroys your feelings and f it stays inside it can't heal." But these are not things most people want to talk about... more
Building peace
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Breaking the cycle
It’s an enticing concept, with the potential to break the cycle of killing and revenge like nothing else. But it’s not easy. Like so many of the things Rwanda is doing towards recovery it’s incredibly ambitious, it’s brave and it’s healthy, but for most people it’s very, very difficult...
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Building peace
Rwandans enjoy life, but they take it kind of seriously at the same time.
The thing that takes your breath away is seeing what they’re prepared to do to deal with their own stuff and to build bridges with enemies. They always make me feel so uncivilised!...

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Vanishing Point curriculum resources
You speak kinyarwanda?
Then you'd better read this!