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Rwanda: Looking Backwards, Looking Forwards

April marks the twentieth anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda that claimed the lives of over 800,000 Tutsis and their perceived Hutu and Twa sympathisers.

Photographs of Rwanda over the last twenty years tend to focus on the important task of remembering the events of genocide – the one hundred days of killing in 1994. 

But Rwanda is a complex country with a multi-layered history.  Rwandan culture has evolved over centuries, the violence of the mid-nineties has roots in events that cross the twentieth century, and the last twenty years have seen enormous change in the country.

Our project offers a glimpse of the multifaceted nature of personal memories in Rwanda.  These images, taken in Spring 2014, evoke the pre-genocide past, the genocide and the last two decades of change.

They form a collaborative conversation between two photographers and an AHRC-funded academic.  Brendan Bannon is an American photojournalist fascinated by intersections between landscapes and emotions.  Fabrice Musafiri is a Rwandan photographer working for the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre with a passion for street photography.  Zoe Norridge is a Lecturer, Curator and Broadcaster at King’s College London.

More images of contemporary Rwanda can be seen in the exhibition Rwanda in Photographs: Death Then, Life Now, curated by Zoe Norridge and Mark Sealy (Autograph ABP).  Presented by the Cultural Institute at King’s and supported by the AHRC, it forms the first group show of work by professional Rwandan photographers outside of Rwanda.

Rwanda in Photographs: Death Then, Life Now

Inigo Rooms, Somerset House East Wing, Strand, London WC2R 2LS

Open daily for the month of April, 12.00 – 18.00 (until 20.00 on Thursdays). Free Admission.

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