Coexist

About This Episode


When hate persists, how will you coexist? Rwanda’s unprecedented social experiment in government-mandated reconciliation is revealed for the first time through the eyes of a diverse range of survivors: victims, perpetrators, and those who bore witness to the 1994 genocide. What they share is breathtaking, heartbreaking, and inspired.

Coexist comes into focus as the Rwandan government releases thousands of Hutu perpetrators who participated in the slaughter of more than 500,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutu. Most former prisoners have little choice but to return to the villages where they raped and slaughtered. To prevent retaliation, Rwandans attend government-sponsored solidarity camps and reconciliation workshops. Government leaders describe the policy saying, “We demand a lot from them for the future of this nation and for the peace of this nation, to accept to live side-by-side with the people who killed their families.”

How do societies ravaged by genocide begin to heal? Can a person be forced to reconcile with those who killed his or her loved ones?