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SOAS scholar produces radio documentary on forgiveness and reconciliation

9 May 2014

Dr Phil Clark, Reader in Comparative and International Politics at SOAS, University of London has co-directed and produced a radio documentary on the prospects for forgiveness and reconciliation in post-genocide Rwanda and post-civil war northern Uganda, based on a two-year research project.

'Finding It within Ourselves: Forgiveness, Reconciliation and Rescue in Post-Atrocity Rwanda and Uganda' was funded by the Fetzer Institute, a US-based organisation. The aim of the research project was to discover what makes possible or stymies forgiveness and reconciliation in communities that have suffered extreme violence.

Informed by in-depth interviews in post-genocide Rwanda and post-civil war northern Uganda, the radio documentary was the result of 50 interviews in each country, some with people who have been both victims and perpetrators of heinous acts during the bloodshed.

Dr Clark says those who share personal experiences of forgiveness and reconciliation "haven’t expressed some innate cultural disposition but rather wrestled with overwhelming feelings of anger, pain and loss—often over lengthy periods—to seek ways to rebuild themselves and their communities…. Many individuals have meanwhile found it too difficult to forgive or reconcile—showing that these processes are neither unconscious nor automatic."

The radio documentary was co-directed with Dr Nicola Palmer, Lecturer in Criminal Law at King’s College London and was broadcast in Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa in three languages (Kinyarwanda, Luo and English). The prime-time broadcast by Radio Rwanda on 10 April coincided with the official commemoration week marking the 20th anniversary of the 1994 genocide.

Finding It within Ourselves: Forgiveness, Reconciliation and Rescue in Post-Atrocity Rwanda and Uganda (English Version)

Listen to the documentary on YouTube in Luo or Kinyarwanda:
Audio version

Finding It within Ourselves: Forgiveness, Reconciliation and Rescue in Post-Atrocity Rwanda and Uganda

Further reading