Whether it is to preserve identity, build a legacy or leave stories that live on for generations, documenting history was a great way to start and this year’s edition of Our Past. In an attempt to raise awareness, combat genocide ideology and embed the never again narrative into the community, the annual Our Past events hold space for younger generations to learn about the country’s history through different art forms, speeches and dialogues tailored to educate and appeal to the youth especially those with no recollection of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Contrary to previous years, the event that took place at Kigali Genocide Memorial registered an abundant number of attendees, approximately thousands, which is more than the amphitheater could accommodate, leaving standing and sitting on stairs and grass the only option, but participants gladly indulged all through the four hour event. Preceded by a short film documentary on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, a poetry team from Gashora Girls School exhibited a play entitled “Truth to the Youth” whose plot centered around a fictional court case of a young girl who was being tried for celebrating during the season of commemoration, which she was cautioned against by the elders in her community, figuratively articulating the disconnect that younger generations have to the country’s history, especially the Genocide, because despite the empathy they feel towards the atrocity, not having personal experiences tethered to it creates a disconnect. The play was followed by a performance dubbed “Tales of a demented generation” that featured poetic tributes from locally renowned poets Muctar Inkindi, and Manzi le poete, paired beautifully with Ella Rings harmonizing. With a performance titled “Hobe Rwanda” Junior Rumaga delivered a play exhibiting the immense despair and woe left behind by the Genocide, alongside tales of hope and progress that nearly compelled the audience to a round of applause they were unable to give due to mindfulness. “I enjoyed all the performances today but Junior Rumaga’s play comes in first place. The way grief and rebuilding was portrayed is truly inspirational” said Elsa Ishimwe, one of the attendees. In addition to the different performances, the event featured an address by Lieutenant General Innocent Kabandana on behalf of Rwanda Defence Force who shed light onto the role played by the armed forces in putting an end to the Genocide against the Tutsi in 1994 and the hindrances they faced amidst liberating the country. “There were more perpetrators than saviors and that was a challenge because the numbers were not on our side. Besides being rescued, the survivors needed to be comforted, fed and being taken care of. There was no infrastructure to travel from provinces to the city and armed forces had to walk long distances to liberate people and that required sacrifice. Civilian Rwandans also provided food and shelter to their fellows, and that in itself was admirable” Kabandana reiterated during his speech. The event also featured a dialogue with Claver Irakoze, author of the book 'That Child Is Me' who shared his experience during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and emphasized on the importance of sharing and documenting one’s history. “After I became a parent, I wanted my children to learn about my history and know who I truly am, and writing this book helped me share a piece of myself with them. I would also like to urge parents to educate their children on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and have conversations that could prevent or address transgenerational trauma,” said Irakoze. The ceremony concluded with passing the light and had been attended by the Israeli ambassador to Rwanda, Ron Adam, representatives from the Ministry of Youth and Culture and the Ministry of National Unity and Civic Engagement as well as members of the Rwanda Defense Force.