Digital Storytelling Adventures

Projects with Youth

From 2013-2018, Cheri Gaulke led high school students on tours to countries recovering from conflict to make short documentaries about war, genocide, and immigration. This program was co-created by Gaulke (Harvard-Westlake School), Jeff MacIntyre (Content Media Group) and Alethea Paradis (Peace Works Travel) and later joined by Jackson Kroopf. We traveled to Laos, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Cuba, Guatemala, Rwanda, and the U.S.-Mexico border. To watch selected films click on the film titles below.

Wings of Peace, 2013

Can folding an origami crane bring peace? In Wings of Peace, a video by Danielle Stolz, two teens of Japanese-American descent (Stolz and friend Aimee Misaki) journey to Laos with origami papers in hand. Boundaries of language and culture are transcended when Laotians affected by unexploded bombs fold cranes and share their dreams for a better life. The film asks U.S. viewers to reflect upon the tragic legacy of war from the World War II atomic bombing of Hiroshima to the Vietnam War-era Secret War on Laos.

Reweaving: Rwanda After Rape, 2014

Katherine Calvert’s film gives an historic perspective on the horrific crime of rape as a weapon of war and genocide. Calvert grounds her story in the 1994 Rwandan genocide where rape’s lasting impact tears apart its victims as well as the very fabric of society. Yet the film offers hope as we see women in Rwanda bonding together to heal themselves and their country.

The Rhythm of Healing, 2014

Dancer Imani Cook-Gist shares the healing power of music and dance in Rwanda, a country devastated by a 1994 genocide in which one million people were slaughtered in 100 days. Traditional dancers, music students and the country’s most famous Gospel singer share their experience.

Us & Us, 2015

A look at dehumanization through the eyes of a black teen and the history of genocides. A film by Trey Carlisle, Cole Kawana, Sebastian Ko and Jordan Seibel.

Embargo On Love, 2015

For forty years, Cuban families have been separated by water and politics, but the desire to connect remains strong. A teen filmmaker uses her camera to deliver a message of love to the once forbidden island. Written and directed by Lauren Rothman.

Daughters of Cambodia, 2016

A teenage girl compares her life to the that of young girls in Cambodia who are at risk for sex trafficking. A film by Maya Hinken, Nicole Kim, Tarin North and William Park.

Sincretismo, 2018

What happens to indigenous spirituality when colonial religions arrive? The words of a Guatemalan priestess of Maximón give insight into this deity and folk saint born of the ancient Maya traditions centuries ago. A film by Sophie Kim.

Gray Areas, 2018

The U.S.-Mexico Border – a gray area in a world that doesn’t like gray areas. Through connecting with people who have lived on both sides, find the humanity and the truth of the complexities that surround U.S. immigration policies and practices. A film by Kat Swander and Jack Safir.