Editor’s Note: Guest blogger Karen Murphy has been involved in the anti-genocide movement for many years. As the international director for the education organization Facing History and Ourselves, she wrote this post to promote a workshop that will be held online starting at the end of this month.
All told, in [the last 100 years], there have been more than 100 million innocent victims of genocide—more than all the combat deaths in all the wars fought during that time everywhere in the world.
Scholar and author Daniel Jonah Goldhagen wants to stop genocide. His film, “Worse than War,” is a powerful exploration of genocide and mass violence, taking the view that we’ll be best equipped to prevent these most extreme forms of organized violence if we understand a few crucial questions:
Why do killers kill?
What is the role of leaders in instigating and in carrying out genocidal acts?
Why do the international community and the United Nations fail to intervene to stop such violence?
Through interviews with victims, perpetrators, politicians, aid workers, and others affected by the violence in Rwanda, Bosnia, Guatemala, Kosovo, and Ukraine, he confronts the viewer with the ultimate challenge: What are we willing to do to put an end to genocide once and for all? What does it take?
Educational non-profit Facing History and Ourselves has developed a resource guide and an online workshop to accompany this important documentary. Please join us online from October 31-November 8 for the first free multi-media workshop. It’s asynchronous so we are accommodating all time zones! Please be prepared to spend a few hours over the course of the week participating in discussions, listening to podcasts, reading texts, and viewing clips from the film and from interviews. The Worse than War workshop will highlight various ways the study guide and film can be used in classrooms for students to explore various aspects of genocide including awareness and prevention. Online discussions, video clips, podcasts, and readings from the guide will give educators a chance to explore a variety of ways to engage with this material and these concepts.
Karen Murphy is the international director of Facing History and Ourselves, which works to combat bigotry and nurture democracy through education. By working with educators, Facing History reaches nearly 2 million students each year with a curriculum that teaches how to combat prejudice with compassion, indifference with participation, and myth and misinformation with knowledge.