An experiment in post conflict social reconstruction: Lessons from Rwanda

CURA Colloquium with Annie Kubai, Researcher, Department of Theology, Church and Mission studies; World Christianity and Interreligious Studies, Upsalla University In this paper, I would like to reflect on Rwanda’s ‘social experiment on a grand scale’, to rebuild a shattered social fabric, bring about reconciliation, justice and social-economic reconstruction in the last twenty five years. At the beginning of my research in 2001, many of the people I met and spoke to, said that they wanted “to move on and not to live in the past”. This was the response then from both perpetrators and survivors of the horrors of genocide, when they talked about their lives after the genocide and their aspirations for the future. The notion of moving on still lives on as some people said when they spoke during the 2018 commemoration. It also resonates with Jennie Burnet’s (2012) book title: Genocide lives in us: Women, memory and silence in Rwanda. What I present here can only be a synopsis of how, in the process of moving on, the Rwandans  remember and memorialize the genocide  deal with thorny issues of identity  practice forgiveness and reconciliation  strive to bring about a “change of mindset”, “create a new moral order” and “a new national narrative.” Thus, I will focus on the ways in which post genocide Rwandan society is re-inventing and re-imagining itself. I will employ a historical perspective, using data generated through several large field studies in Rwanda. Reading the paper in advance is required for attendance. Email for a copy. Co-sponsored with the School of Theology
12:00 pm on Friday, February 22, 2019
1:30 pm on Friday, February 22, 2019
232 Bay State Rd. Room 505