Genocide Awareness Lecture: Memory, Culture, and Emotional Expression in Post-Genocide Rwanda
Our featured speaker for the 2023 Genocide Awareness Lecture is Omar Ndizeye, who is a survivor of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and who went on to do important peacebuilding work in the aftermath. Using personal stories, images, and insights into the memorization process in post-genocide Rwanda, his lecture will focus on memory practices, culture, and emotional expression. This talk will explore the role of survivors, the government of Rwanda, and international memory actors in the process of memorializing the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda--and it will demonstrate why understanding cultural memory as a tool for effective memory transmission and emotional expression matters for atrocity prevention as well as for the reparation of societal trust, empathy, and memorialization processes at large.
The in-person lecture will be followed by a book signing and reception on campus beginning at 6:30pm.
This event is sponsored by the Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College in partnership with the Department of Holocaust and Genocide Studies.
Location: Mason Library (Room 240) or Zoom Webinar
Cost: This event is free and open to the public. Donations to support the Cohen Center’s events and programs are appreciated.
Omar Ndizeye is a survivor of genocide, author, and public speaker. He has nine years of experience working for non-government organizations in Rwanda, where he developed the Humura Nturi Wenyine (“don’t worry you are not alone”) initiative. This is a psychosocial program that supports genocide survivors by combining counseling helpline services and volunteer-based first aid intervention. Omar’s work focuses on cultural memory, societal healing, peacebuilding, and youth engagement. Since publishing his first memoir, Life and Death in Nyamata: Memoir of a Young Boy in Rwanda’s Darkest Church, in March 2020, Omar has continued to work on a research project entitled “Journey through Rwandan Memorials.” This project focuses on the 265 genocide memorials/sites of memory and the memorialization process in Rwanda. Currently, he is a graduate student in Genocide and Mass Atrocities Prevention (GMAP) at SUNY Binghamton University.