Story Topic: Reconciliation

Christopher Emmanuel (Canada)

Photo by Louisa Hext As a child growing up in a small town in Grenada, West Indies, Christopher Emmanuel was mercilessly shamed in front of his peers by his father. As a result he buried the anger until it erupted in mental illness several years later. After 10 years in and out of institutions, he was… more

Gayle Kirschenbaum (USA)

Photo by Katalin Karolyi As a result of a deeply unhappy childhood, American filmmaker Gayle Kirschenbaum decided to take her mother to task by making a documentary about their difficult and painful relationship. The result was the award-winning documentary LOOK AT US NOW, MOTHER!, a humorous, intimate and courageous film following the transformation of this tumultuous… more

Karsten Mathiasen (Denmark)

Karsten Mathiasen is a Danish clown and storyteller who shares here his own personal story of healing and forgiveness after a bitter marital breakdown. Karsten is director of Cirkus Bella Donna, one of the smallest circuses in Denmark and uses the art of storytelling in peacebuilding and social work – tilgivelse.dk. The catastrophe happened some years… more

Mathew Shurka (USA)

In 2004, when Mathew Shurka was 16 his father took him to a licensed therapist who claimed he could make gay people straight.  As a result Mathew, who lives in Brooklyn New York, is now a prominent activist working to end conversion therapy. I grew up in the suburbs of New York in a close-knit… more

Dr. Chuck Sandstrom (USA)

Dr. Chuck Sandstrom was a seasoned organizational leader and motivational speaker when in 2009 he was brutally assaulted by a stranger in Akron Ohio. In spite of his life-altering Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and with the support of his wife Auburn, Chuck has come to unconditionally forgive the man who assaulted him and has actively… more

Mary Johnson and Oshea Israel (USA)

Photo by Louisa Hext On 12th February 1993 Mary Johnson’s only son, 20-year-old Laramiun Byrd, was murdered.  The perpetrator was 16-year-old Oshea Israel who received a 25 year sentence for second degree murder. Many years later Mary visited Oshea in prison and since his release in 2010 they have lived as neighbours in the Northside… more

Stanislav Krezic (Bosnia)

During the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Stanislav Krezic fought with Croatian Defence Council Forces against the Bosnian Army on the front lines around the divided town of Mostar.  As in many other places, the conflict in this southern region was a brutal one, pitting neighbour against neighbour, tearing communities apart in places where… more

Munira Beba Hadzic (Bosnia)

Srebrenica lies 30 km west of the Drina River that marks the Bosnian border with Serbia. In 1992, Munira Beba Hadzic was the headmistress of the elementary school there, and responsible for over 1,000 7- 15-year-olds from all ethnicities and backgrounds. At the beginning of May that year, Serb forces chased the town’s Bosnian Muslim… more

Samantha Lawler (USA)

Photograph by Louisa Hext Samantha Lawler’s mother was murdered by her father in 1999 at the family home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Her father admitted to strangling his wife, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and rape and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.  Thirteen years later, Samantha visited her father in prison –… more

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