Rwanda, 20 years later

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Photography show in London shows a different side of the war-torn country

By Hannah McGivern. Web only
Published online: 20 March 2014

Fabrice Musafiri’s Kigali Streelife By Night

Twenty years on from the genocide in Rwanda, the Cultural Institute at King’s College London is presenting the first group exhibition of homegrown photographers ever held outside the country. Photography is “already a medium that people are talking about Rwanda with, but we want to place a Rwandan voice back into that conversation,” says Zoe Norridge, a King’s College lecturer in African literature and the exhibition’s curator.

Her research on the “the lack of Rwandan visual perspectives on the genocide” sparked a weeklong workshop in the capital, Kigali, in November last year. From over 100 photo-essay proposals, ten professional or aspiring Rwandan photographers were selected to work with the facilitators Andrew Esiebo and Brendan Bannon.

A display of images created through the project is included in “Rwanda in Photographs: Death Then, Life Now” (21 March-30 April) at the Inigo Rooms, Somerset House. The subjects are diverse, from the dairy cows helping rural families and genocide survivors get out of poverty to the businesswomen challenging traditional gender roles in the workplace. As for the photographers, Norridge says, “it’s an extraordinary opportunity and an enormous source of pride for them to think that their work is being shown in a serious London gallery.”

John Mbanda’s Kigali Workshops 1

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