What is Coexist?
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Coexist is now available for purchase on DVD for educators: follow this link to make your selection and place your order.
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When hate persists, how will you coexist?
Since its premiere in November 2010, Coexist has been used in more than 3,000 schools, colleges, and youth organizations in Massachusetts and internationally, and has received international recognition through nomination for an Africa Movie Academy Award and selection by film festivals worldwide.
The documentary, standards-aligned Teacher’s Guide, and curricular and technical support constitute a toolkit for teachers, guidance counselors, and staff who aim to strengthen social and emotional learning and enhance programs on anti-violence, conflict resolution, and anti-bullying in school districts, youth development organizations, colleges and universities.
The documentary film, Coexist tells the stories of trauma survivors searching for ways to coexist with their loved ones’ murderers. As the Rwandan government forces citizens to consider reconciliation, we examine the varied paths survivors choose when forced to engage with people who perpetrated crimes during the genocide. In a world where innocent people are attacked or killed because of who they are, we challenge you: how can Rwandans experiences inform efforts to build peaceful coexistence, eliminate hate crimes, and prevent violence?
Living with Killers
In the documentary film, Coexist, women who survived the Rwandan genocide in 1994, perpetrators, scholars, social commentators, and activists share their perspectives. Survivors reveal their innermost feelings on confronting killers and having little choice but to interact with them daily, as they cope with the long lasting trauma of losing their families. Coexist asks, what can you learn from the experience of victims of horrific crimes trying to rehumanize their loved ones’ killers?
A Precarious Experiment
We examine Rwanda’s precarious and sensitive experiment in building reconciliation in varied settings across the country. The government strongly urges killers and survivors to come together in workshops, seminars, and healing groups where they’re often asked to confront each other and share their feelings. In Coexist, we explore if these emotionally explosive interactions can build peaceful coexistence and begin the process of rehumanization, where each individual can begin see the other as human again. See our Survival Stories section to find out more about women you’ll see in our film.
Killing Continues Today
The politics and emotions are complicated, the facts are stark: murderers continue to kill genocide survivors to keep them from testifying in genocide trials. You will hear from women who survived the genocide and are mourning murdered relatives once again, due to continuing acts of genocide designed to intimidate and exterminate people because of their identities. How they feel about coexisting with killers is stunning.
What Can You Learn?
What can you learn from these bold efforts to rebuild a broken society in this personal, painful, and direct way? What are the implications on our relationships, communities, and the world? How do you live side by side with people who killed your loved ones?
As we work to share our film with you we encourage you to bring Coexist into your community. Learn more about how to organize a workshop on our education page.