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Serving & connecting
In Rwanda, twenty years after the violence that killed up to a million people, writers, artists, filmmakers and journalists have been working hard to communicate difficult choices made by the government, local organisations and civilians whilst reconstructing the country. Much has changed: a generation of young people has grown up since 1994, and Rwanda has experienced unprecedented economic success. However, internationally the country is still primarily associated with mass violence.
Through conversations with Rwandan stakeholders the project lead, Dr Zoe Norridge (Department of English & Comparative Literature) identified a key issue: Rwandans had very little control over images of their country circulating internationally. Photographs of Rwanda are mostly taken by outsiders and very few Rwandan photojournalists and artists have access to international networks.
In response, King’s supported a photography workshop in Kigali in November 2013. This workshop was grounded in a collaboration between Mark Sealy (Director of Autograph ABP) and Zoe Norridge. Ten carefully selected professional Rwandan photographers were offered places on the week-long course facilitated by Nigerian photographer Andrew Esiebo and American photojournalist Brendan Bannon. Each participant proposed, developed and delivered his or her own project representing Rwanda today.
Selected images from the workshop and a subsequent follow-up competition were then shown at an AHRC-funded exhibition in King’s Inigo Rooms, entitled: Rwanda in Photographs: Death Then, Life Now. The exhibition, curated by Zoe Norridge and Mark Sealy, ran from March to April 2014 to coincide with the twentieth anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda.
Images from the exhibition and responses from the press can be seen on the Autograph ABP website.
The legacy film reviews the aims and scope of the project, describes the collaboration between academics and cultural sector practitioners, and presents some findings and recommendations for future working.
Rwandans and friends of Rwanda joined together for a reflective event commemorating the 1994 genocide in Rwanda
A joint event with the Royal African Society and SOAS which looked back to ask how we should most effectively commemorate the genocide, and looked forward to ask to what extent criticisms of Rwanda are justified and where the country is headed in the next 20 years and beyond.
This panel examines resistance before and during the genocide, established criminal trials, retributive and reparatory justice and, finally, the ongoing nature of claims for prosecution and compensation in Rwanda and overseas.
An event considering the growth of literary writing in Rwanda, drawing on case studies from East Africa, which was followed by a screening of award-winning Rwandan feature film Grey Matter.
The first UK performance of this one man play that offers a portrait of a boy and a country, followed by Q&A with writer and actor Ery Nzaramba
A professional workshop bringing together Rwandan photographers with international cultural gatekeepers including photo agencies, relevant training organisations and photo editors from leading NGOs.
Zoe joined King's in 2012 and is currently a Senior Lecturer in English and Comparative Literature. She has a BA and MPhil in Modern Languages (Cambridge), a PhD in African Literature (SOAS) and spent two years as the Salvesen Fellow at New College Oxford, affiliated with the Department of English and Centre for African Studies. Zoe' research interests include African literature, cultural responses to genocide in Rwanda, and literature and human rights. Her first book, Perceiving Pain in African Literature, examines literary accounts of suffering from sub-Saharan Africa published over the last forty years. Considering both fiction and life-writing, she discusses texts from West Africa, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Southern Africa to ask how and why African writers represent pain.
Mark Sealy MBE has been the Director of Autograph ABP since 1991. He is currently a PhD candidate at Durham University, his research focuses on photography and cultural violence. In 2007, Sealy was awarded the Hood Medal for services to photography by the Royal Photographic Society. Sealy is the editor of a 1993 book on the Black British photographer Vanley Burke, collaborated with Stuart Hall on Different, an examination of identity through photography, and has co-edited other significant texts published by Autograph, such as the 1996 volume Rotimi Fani-Kayode & Alex Hirst Photographs.
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