Essays and Poems

On this page are an assortment of written and video essays that can form the basis of homework or a lesson.  Those videos from Genocide Memorial Day events and have been prepared with a view to being used as educational resources.  This is an ongoing project and more resources will be added, please check back periodically.

A number of poetry performances on the theme are also included.

* – external links


VIDEO: On the Genocide Memorial Day video by animator Siddiqa Juma (2012) (approx. 5 mins)

Ages 8+
Questions to think about:  What is genocide and how does it affect children?

VIDEO: Nuclear weapons, genocide and Islamic and other religious teachings on weapons of mass destruction (2016) (approx. 17 mins)

Dr Amina Inloes, a teacher at the Islamic College, and an academic specialising in Islamic history and the particular history of women explores the notions of genocidal weapons through the prism of Islamic Law with the use of various hadiths and Qur’anic verses.

Additional resource Q&A (approx 51 mins) with Dr. Amina Inloes, Dr. Enver Tohti and Dr. Tadatoshi Akiba

Ages 13+

Questions to think about:  What are the arguments for and against nuclear deterrence?  What do some religious teachings think of this? Are nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction genocidal in nature?

To Talha, Tony and Teresa on the Tyranny of European Values (2013), Arzu Merali

Ages 16+

Questions to think about: How is genocide related to the modern world?  Are the events of 1492, the Spanish Inquisition, the transatlantic slave trade and the Holocaust unrelated events? Aberrations? Do you agree with the author that there is a potential for genocide built in to the way Europe was created?


NEW – VIDEO: Message by Mak Dizdar (various readers) (2020)

Ages 13+

Questions to think about: What could the poet be describing? What is the ‘dream’ and the ‘miracle’ he refers to?  Why is his story ‘unerring and old’?  What connections can the reader make between what the poet depicts and beyond?  This poem is about Bosnia (written before the Bosnian war of the 1990s).  What impact does this recitation with readers of Bosnians, Palestinian and Indian heritage make?

VIDEO: Mark Gonzales (2013)

Ages 15+

Questions to think about:  What is the difference between learning through statistics and learning through stories?  Why does the poet believe stories are more important to understanding genocide?  What is the link between nations and narratives?  Before listening to this did you feel some people did not have ‘control of words’?

VIDEO: Hodan Yusuf (2015) ‘The Steps that Lead to Genocide’

Ages 15+

Questions to think about:  What does the poet mean that the term genocide is often reserved for people who are humanised?  Can you give some examples?  Can you see the links the poet is making between ‘casual racisms’ to genocide?

VIDEO: Sanasiino – My Name is not Irak (2012)

Ages 13+

Questions to think about:  Who is the poem addressed to?  How does the control of language relate to the events the poet describes?

VIDEO:  Mizan the Poet (2016) – Shock and Awe

Mizan The Poet performed a spoken word piece explaining the concept of genocidal weapons and his first encounter of hearing about white phosphorus attacks in Iraq and the impact it had on him.

Ages 13+

Questions to think about:  What is shock and awe?  Why does the poet argue this is mass destruction?

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Genocide

VIDEO: Genocide Of The Native People Of Australia with Q&A (2012) (approx. 39 mins), Dr. Tjnara Goreng Goreng

Ages 16+

Questions to think about: Is an apology enough restitution?  Why is changing the curriculum important in this case paticualrly but for the purposes of genocide education and genocide prevention?  Is it enough to know just what has happened?  What relationship is there between education and genocide prevention?

Deathscapes: The Road: Passage Through the Deathscape (Australia)*

Ages 16+

Questions to think about:  The resource argues that: ‘The case of Mr Ward bears out the continuing effects of colonial invasion and usurped sovereignty with its murderous disregard for Aboriginal life.’  How in your opinion is this the case?


You Will Burn My House Down – But I will Still Dream be Here: Memories of Bosnia, Genocide and the Histories of Hate, Arzu Merali (2016).

Ages 16+

Question to think about: What is the role of memory in genocide prevention?

Srebrenica: The Call for Justice – From 1992-1996, over half a million Muslims were killed, 2 million have been made refugees, and 80,000 women have been raped

Ages 13+

Politics or Justice? Differentiating Between the Nuremberg Trials and ICTY, Demir Mahmutcehajic (2001)

Ages 13+ and ages 16+

There is a lesson plan accompanying this resource available here

VIDEO: Surviving Bosnia (2018) (approx. 22 mins), Demir Mathmutcehajic

Additional resource Q&A with Dr. Maung Zarni and Demir Mahmutcehajic

Ages 13+

Questions to ask: What are the responsibilities to remember and to remind about genocide?  Give some examples from recent history.


Genocide in Cambodia: Revisiting the Killing Fields (2010), Hussain Araki and Dawud Kapansa – Over 1.5 million people lost their lives between 17 April 1975 and January 7 1979. Almost a quarter of Cambodia’s population died during the Khmer Rouge rule.

Ages 15+


Congo (2010) – Fahad Ansari on the history of colonisation in the Congo

Ages 13+


Darfur, Seyfeddin Kara (2010) – According to UN statistics more than 300000 were killed and 2.7 million have been displaced between years 2003 to 2005.

Ages 13+

First Nations

VIDEO: The ongoing genocidal acts and the history of Genocide against the First Nations (2015) (approx 13 mins), Xain Storey

Law graduate and writer Xain Storey made a profound statement on the genocide against First Nation peoples in North America. Describing the facades of freedom and liberation the USA and Canada uphold, Xain Storey explained that they were nothing more than falsehoods. Both nations were built on the bones of millions of indigenous peoples. The systematic oppression against them occurs to this day.  Additional Resource, Q&A with Xain Storey

Ages 15+

Questions to think about:  What is the social construction of race?  How does this impact scientific thinking today?

Hiroshima & Nagasaki

VIDEO: Never Again: Hiroshima (2016) (approx 24 mins), Dr Tadatoshi Akiba

The former mayor of Hiroshima, Dr. Tadatoshi Akiba, shared some detailed stories of the impact of the bombs dropping in Hiroshima. He spoke of his tireless campaign to encourage countries to dismantle the ownership of nuclear weapons and to learn the lessons from the history of Japan, especially with the focus on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Additional resource Q&A (approx 51 mins) with Dr. Amina Inloes, Dr. Enver Tohti and Dr. Tadatoshi Akiba

Hiroshima and Nagasaki (2010), Hajira Qureshi looks at the impact of the detonation of the first atomic bombs in Japan and the resultant genocide.

Ages 13+


Warsaw Ghetto (2010), Adam Majeed

The war years between 1939 and 1945, following Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland on September 1 1939, laid the setting for a truly poignant example of men’s failure to treat their fellow men with prerequisite dignity.

Ages 13+

VIDEO: The Holocaust and the defeat of Islamic Andalucia (2015) (approx. 27 mins), Dr. Maria-Jose Lera

Dr. Maria-Jose Lera, academic specializing in Psychology from Seville discusses the treatment of Muslims and Jews in the defeat of Islamic Andalucia and its parallels with the Holocaust in 1930s and 1940s Nazi Germany and Europe.  Additional resource Q&A with Maria-Jose Lera

Ages 16+

VIDEO: The Holocaust (2010) (approx. 20 mins), Rabbi Beck*

Rabbi Beck, whose family were killed in the Holocaust relays his family’s stories and relates them to current affairs.

Part 1

Part 2

Ages 13+


VIDEO: The post Mutiny genocide in India (1857 – 1867) (2010) (approx. 10 mins)*

Journalist and author Randeep Ramesh talks on this topic.

Ages 13+

Questions to think about: How much is a few hundred thousand people?  Why does the presenter find such statements to be problematic?  What defines a genocide.


The Nanjing Massacre: December 1937, Oussam Mezoui (2010)

In this essay you will read about the indiscriminate killing and the rape of many innocent civilians and prisoners of war during the Second Sino-Japanese War in December 1937.

Ages 13+

Native Americans

Native Americans – Native Americans suffered a genocide that almost led to their extinction.

Ages 15+

VIDEO: A message from Ward Churchill (read by Yvonne Ridley) (2010) (approx 4 mins)*

Ages 13+


Aftermath: Gaza in the days after the 22 Day War (2009), Fahad Ansari and Musthak Ahmed

A diary account of two lawyers who visited Gaza to collect testimony from victims of the war

Ages 13+

VIDEO: Genocidal Acts in Palestine (2015) (approx. 18 mins), Rabbi Ahron Cohen

Rabbi Cohen from Neturei Karta explains that the current Zionist state of Israel is far from what Orthodox Jews consider to be a legitimate state according to Jewish scripture, and its injustices are graphically expressed in the genocidal acts against the occupied and oppressed Palestinian people.  Additional resource Q&A with Rabbi Ahron Cohen and Matt Carr

Ages 13+


VIDEO: Genocide of the Rohingya (2017) (approx. 18 mins) Sheikh Mohammed Azmi

Ages 13+

Questions to think about: How is the speaker a witness to genocide?

VIDEO:  Standing up for The Rohingya, by Dr Maung Zarni (approx 25 mins)

Additional resource Q&A with Dr. Maung Zarni and Demir Mahmutcehajic

Ages 13+

‘The Most Persecuted Minority in the World’ – The Genocide of the Rohingya (2018)

Ages 13+

Myanmar’s Muslims: The Oppressed of the Oppressed (2005)

Ages 13+

Spanish Inquisition

VIDEO: Dr. Rebecca Masterton (2017) (approx. 23 mins) The Expulsion of Jews & Muslims from Spain

Ages 11+

VIDEO: The History of the Spanish Inquisition (with powerpoint) (2015) (approx. 28 mins), Matt Carr

Journalist and acclaimed author Matt Carr. Having penned a number of published works such as ‘Fortress Europe’ and ‘The Devils of Cardona’, he was well-versed on the topic at hand. He explicitly stated the value of using history as a tool and drawing parallels with the present day. This was clearly expressed in his discussion of the oppression of the Morisco peoples in post Islamic Andalucia who were harassed and forced to assimilate till they were eventually expelled from Spain.

Additional resource Q&A with Rabbi Ahron Cohen and Mat Carr 

Ages 13+


The Philippines, Omar Ahmed (2010) writes on the brutality of the American colonisation of the Philippines

Ages 15+

Transatlantic Slave Trade

Remembering the transatlantic slave trade, Zimarina Sarwar (2010) explores the historical context of transatlantic African slavery and analyses the motives for its establishment and factors which lead to its official abolition.

Ages 13+


VIDEO: Nuclear Testing in Xinjiang (2016) (approx. 13 mins), Dr. Enver Tohti

Dr. Enver Tohti, a cancer surgeon by profession who, between 1994 and 1996, secretly and systematically recorded the details of cases of cancer, after he became alarmed at the disproportionately high rates of the disease amongst Uighur patients. Through his power point presentation, Dr. Tohti explores the sites where the nuclear tests took place across China and the impact they had on the civilian population within the vicinity of those sites.

Additional resource Q&A (approx 51 mins) with Dr. Amina Inloes, Dr. Enver Tohti and Dr. Tadatoshi Akiba

Ages 13+