Music, among other forms of art, is a bond that symbolises harmony, love and peace. It is said to be a universal language that transcends borders, tribe or race. And because of this impact, the arts have been an incredible tool in the healing journey for Genocide survivors, and have been an effective remedy for dealing with trauma caused by the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Brian Bazimya, a poet, says art has the capacity to help heal wounds through performances that speak of hope and courage. “Many times you don’t know who comes, for example at spoken word (poetry) events, when we decide to speak on healing and wounds, many times we are talking of similar experiences, because the Genocide against the Tutsi had an impact on all of us,” he says. Bazimya says poetic words of courage and hope really do help along the way in healing people. “Same applies for music; musicians write lyrics that touch the souls of the heavy-hearted deeply through their lyricism and their beautiful voices. So, singing songs of healing and hope goes a long way in helping, it may not happen instantly but it happens organically and helps in building a nation that is healing and trying to move forward,” he notes. The poet believes that during commemoration, more art should be involved. Poets, musicians and others should get together and find themes fixing on the Genocide against the Tutsi and be the light of hope for the people through their creativity. “I don’t know, but to me poetry is more impactful when words are passionate and full of love and the message comes from the true stories. So we ought as creatives to utilise our talents more in spreading the message of hope and that Genocide should never happen again! We ought to be at the forefront of it because we have a bigger platform than we think,” he says. Upcoming musician Couronne Mushyitsi says music and art in general is very important because they have capacity of speaking words and spreading messages that go straight to the heart. “With the right message, one can easily heal wounds. For the case of survivors, when they remember what happened and the losses that the Genocide caused in their lives, it’s important for them to listen to songs that strengthen them and bring them hope,” he says. Research on the ‘The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health’ shows that the idea that creative expression can make a powerful contribution to the healing process has been embraced in many different cultures. Throughout recorded history, people have used pictures, stories, dances, and chants as healing rituals. There has been much philosophical and anecdotal discussion about the benefits of art and healing. This particular research indicates positive outcomes for the potential of using art to promote healing; music is the most accessible and most researched medium of art and healing, and there has been a principal emphasis on the soothing capacity of music and its ability to offset overly technological approaches to care. In particular, music therapy has been shown to decrease anxiety.