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LSE arts public film screening and panel discussion

Coexist explores the painful and personal stories of Rwandan genocide survivors as they are made to try to reconcile with perpetrators being released back into their communities from prison. Viewers say that Coexist masterfully captures the nuance and complexity of the process of dehumanization and rehumanization that takes place during genocide and in its aftermath.

Adam Mazo and his colleague, Coexist Learning Director Dr. Mishy Lesser, have worked with hundreds of young people in schools and youth groups using the movie and companion Viewer's Guide to challenge students to reflect deeply on their core beliefs and vital issues: bullying, scapegoating, name-calling, and "othering". The Coexist team engages students in activities and dialogue about these pressing issues, which directly impact the ability of youth to succeed and thrive. The filmmakers' goal is for Coexist to be used as a tool to foster understanding about how violence escalates, how it can be interrupted, and the potential each of us has to be victim, perpetrator, bystander, and upstander.

Adam Mazo is the Executive Producer and Director for Coexist. He has spent time in Rwanda researching and shooting around the country investigating the country's reconciliation efforts. The work included short-form documentary pieces on issues in Rwanda as well as Uganda including: the war in northern Uganda, and education of displaced children. For the last decade he has worked as a journalist in the television news business. He has traveled through more than 20 countries throughout North America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. He was also trained at the University of Florida where he earned a B.S. in television production. He lives in Boston.

David Russell is Director of Survivors Fund (SURF), a UK-based international organisation which represents and supports survivors of the Rwandan genocide to rebuild their lives in Rwanda and the UK. SURF is guided by a bottom-up approach to support the needs of survivors, as determined by survivors themselves. Programmes range from healthcare to house-building, education to entrepreneurship, and are delivered by local survivors' organisations including AVEGA, AERG and IBUKA with funding from primarily institutional donors (Comic Relief, Charities Advisory Trust, Sigrid Rausing Trust). David succeeded SURF's Founder Mary Kayitesi Blewitt OBE as Director, with whom he had worked as consultant since 2004. Mary founded the organisation immediately after the genocide, in which she lost over 50 members of her family, and continues to serve as our advocate and ambassador. David is an NYU Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship, receiving an MPA from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service, New York University and an MA from Christ's College, Cambridge.

Dr Purna Sen is Head of Human Rights at the Commonwealth Secretariat, prior to joining the Commonwealth Secretariat she was with Amnesty International as Director for the Asia-Pacific Programme and had previously taught Gender and Development at the Development Studies Institute (DESTIN) at the London School of Economics (LSE). For over twenty years, her work has included research, publications and activist work on violence against women, culture and human rights, particularly in relation to sexual violence, trafficking, civil society organising against violence, as well as social development issues and race equality in the UK. She has work in a number of countries including India, Jordan, Morocco, Indonesia and the Nordic countries. She has regional expertise in Asia and the Pacific, engaging especially in the conflict areas of Sri Lanka and Nepal and has worked on human rights issues in Malaysia, Indonesia, PNG, Korea and many other countries in the region. She has consulted with many organisations including Article 19 and the British Council. She holds a visiting senior fellowship at DESTIN at the LSE.


David Russell | talks
Chair: Dr Purna Sen | talks
Chair: Adam Mazo | talks


Date and Time:

14 September 2011 at 6:30 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



Wolfson Theatre
New Academic Building
London School of Economics and Political Science

Show map

Organised by:

London School of Economics & Political Science
See other talks organised by London School of Economics & Political Science...




Available from:

This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For any queries email arts@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 6043.

Additional Information:

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