Michigan State University has organised a series of commemoration events in honour of victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The events, which kicked off on April 1, across the Michigan State University campus, are geared toward observance of the 25 year anniversary of the Genocide.
Activities to be held range from film screenings, vigils, poetry recitals, and virtual tours of Genocide memorial sites, to symposiums featuring international panels.
Representing Rwanda at the scheduled events is renowned filmmaker Eric Kabera, whose film, Keepers of Memory, will be screened, and two undergraduate students at the university.
A scene from the film Keepers of Memory. File.
On Monday April 1, a commemorative exhibit titled “Remembering the Genocide against the Tutsi 25 Years Later” opened at the university’s library. The exhibit is part of Michigan State University’s Year of Global Africa Celebration, and will run through April 30. It seeks to increase awareness and understanding of the root causes and effects of the Genocide.
On April 5, there will be a vigil at which the names of people who perished in the Genocide will be read out. The vigil will include a poetry recital about the Genocide by two Rwandan undergraduate students at the university; Elyvine Ingabire Gasana and Sandrine Divine Bakuramutsa.
Between April 9-30, the history of the Genocide will be explored through a virtual tour of several prominent Genocide memorial sites in Rwanda, using 360 degree video technology.
On April 16, Keepers of Memory, a film by Eric Kabera will be screened, followed by a panel discussion. Through eye witness accounts and gripping footage, Keepers of Memory takes the viewer on an emotional journey into the Genocide, its survivors and the memorials created in the victims’ honour. The film focuses on the personal accounts of men and women who watch over the sacred burial sites, keeping the memories alive for future generations.
On April 19, a symposium, dubbed “International Symposium on Genocide: Confronting the Past and Understanding the Present”, will be held. The goal of the symposium is to bring in international scholars on genocide to discuss and share their knowledge on the causes and consequences of Genocide, and on social transformations after genocides. Inter disciplinary scholars on genocide will be on hand to highlight the social, historical and political contexts and detailed social processes of Genocide.
On April 20, an event dubbed “The 25th Commemoration of Genocide against the Tutsi – Kwibuka25 will be staged. The event is aimed at celebrating the lives of people that died in the Genocide, honouring them, and cherishing memories of their life.