Genocide in Rwanda

Rwandan Clips

2010/09/10: Rwanda: Confronting a Painful Past

September 10, 2010: the USC Shoah Foundation Institute hosted a panel discussion that addressed the role of testimony in the process of national mourning, transitional justice, and memorialization.

Participants in the panel discussion, titled “Rwanda: Confronting a Painful Past,” included Beth Meyerowitz, USC Professor of Psychology; Mathilde Mukantabana, Professor of History at Cosumnes River College and President of Friends of Rwanda Association; Freddy Mutanguha, Director of the Kigali Memorial Centre and Secretary General of IBUKA; and James Smith, CEO of Aegis Trust. Lyn Boyd-Judson, Director of the USC Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics, moderated the discussion.

“Rwanda: Confronting a Painful Past” was made possible through generous funding by the ACE Charitable Foundation.

  • 2010/09/10: Rwanda: Confronting a Painful Past

    September 10, 2010: the USC Shoah Foundation Institute hosted a panel discussion that addressed the role of testimony in the process of national mourning, transitional justice, and memorialization.

    Participants in the panel discussion, titled “Rwanda: Confronting a Painful Past,” included Beth Meyerowitz, USC Professor of Psychology; Mathilde Mukantabana, Professor of History at Cosumnes River College and President of Friends of Rwanda Association; Freddy Mutanguha, Director of the Kigali Memorial Centre and Secretary General of IBUKA; and James Smith, CEO of Aegis Trust. Lyn Boyd-Judson, Director of the USC Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics, moderated the discussion.

    “Rwanda: Confronting a Painful Past” was made possible through generous funding by the ACE Charitable Foundation.

  • Venuste Karasira

    Venuste describes losing his daughter right before his eyes.

    Born: 1953
    City of Birth: Kabagali (Gitarama, Rwanda)
    In hiding: Kicukiro (Kigali, Rwanda)
    Liberated by: Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF)
    Liberation location: Nyanza (Kicukiro, Kigali, Rwanda)

For the past five years, the USC Shoah Foundation Institute has been expanding efforts to collect and preserve memories of the genocide in Rwanda, which claimed as many as one million lives. The Institute has developed relationships with several organizations doing similar work in Rwanda, including IBUKA—the umbrella organization representing Rwandan survivors.

In 2009, the Institute received funding from the ACE Charitable Foundation to conduct 10 pilot interviews with survivors of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda who now live in the United States. In addition to funding this project, the ACE Charitable Foundation grant enabled the Institute to organize “Rwanda: Confronting a Painful Past,” a panel discussion that took place at USC the following year.

KGMC Staff Visit the Institute

In fall 2011, staff members from the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center (KGMC) spent two months at the Institute studying the Institute's indexing methodology and lending their expertise to the development of indexing terminology appropriate for the Rwandan Tutsi genocide experience. Yves Kamuronsi, head of the Documentation Center of the KGMC, and three colleagues—Diogene Mwizerwa, Martin Niwenshuti, and Paul Rukesha—also spent time learning about the technology being used to preserve the testimonies digitally.

Preserving Their Testimonies

Since returning to Kigali, the Documentation Center has begun indexing 50 Rwandan Tutsi genocide survivor and rescuer testimonies that the KGMC collected between 2004 and 2011. Once the KGMC has finished transcribing, translating, and subtitling these testimonies, the Institute will preserve digital copies in its Visual History Archive. The Rwandan testimonies will also be integrated into IWitness, the Institute’s new online application for teachers and students.

The Institute is seeking funds to complete this project. To support this work, please contact Steve Klappholz at (213) 740-6051 or sklapp@usc.edu.