When the Past is Present

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 12:00am

Staff from the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center discuss their work documenting the genocide in Rwanda

Wednesday, November 30, 2011–Staff members from the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center (KGMC) held a panel discussion in the Doheny Library on the campus of the University of Southern Calfornia. Karen Jungblut, the Institute's Director of Research and Documentation, opened the evening by introducing panelists Yves Kamuronsi, Diogene Mwizerwa, Martin Niwenshuti, and Paul Rukesha, to an audience of faculty, students, and members of the general public.

Addressing how they will use the infrastructure of the Shoah Foundation Institute to tell the human story of another genocide, KGMC staff members shared their ongoing work on building an online archive that will give visitors access to Rwandan video testimonies of genocide witnesses. Other panel topics included the issues involved in taking testimony and the complexity of memorialization and memory in a fractured society.

The panel comes near the end of a two-month visit for KGMC staff to the USC Shoah Foundation Institute. During their stay, KGMC staff worked closely with Institute staff to develop interviewing and indexing methods sensitive to the unique historical, geographical, and cultural circumstances relevant to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

The evening also marked a special moment for the Institute.  Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry presented the Institute a commendation in recognition of its work. Ari Zev, the Institute's Director of Administration, accepted the commendation.