Over There

Rwanda, 20 Years Later

Unanswered (and unanswerable) questions from the genocide. 

Slate has partnered with Brooklyn Brewery and RISC to bring its hit war correspondent interview series to our readers. In this fourth installment, Steve Hindy, founder of Brooklyn Brewery and a former Associated Press foreign correspondent, sits down Philip Gourevitch, staff writer at The New Yorker and author of We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families: Stories From Rwanda.

Twenty years after approximately 800,000 Rwandans were slaughtered in just 100 days, Rwanda’s story is, as Gourevitch puts it, one of “unanswered, and possibly unanswerable, questions.” With more than half the current population born after the genocide, there’s a sense of hope for future generations, but the open wounds and volatile fault lines caused by the atrocities remain inescapable. In the clip above, Gourevitch discusses where Rwanda is today as a country; its ongoing healing process; and how, by living “cheek by jowl with those whom they were set against,” the last two decades have been a period of constant, head-on confrontation—both with what happened and with what comes next.