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Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda

March 05th, 2014
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News from Berlin. The ICD welcomed representatives of Rwanda to the ICD House on Friday, 14th February, 2014. Representing Rwanda in the delegation were the Rwandan Ambassador to Germany, Christine Nkulikiyinka; Rwandan Embassy Communications Coordinator, Elisabeth Kaneza, and film director and producer Eric Kabera, who joined the discussion via Skype. Other panel discussion participants were The Hon. Ema Hennicot Schoepges, and filmmaker Martin Brandes.

The evening’s commemoration began with the screening of “100 Days,” a film directed by Nick Hughes and produced by Hughes and Eric Kabera. The film was first screened in 2001 and is a dramatization of the events that occurred during the Rwandan Genocide in 1994. It is shown from the perspective of a Tutsi family, depicting how their lives were torn apart by the political inflammation of prejudiced beliefs, transforming a quiet, rural lifestyle into a brutal reality.

The film screening was followed by a panel discussion moderated by the Communications Coordinator at the Rwandan Embassy in Berlin, Elisabeth Kaneza. Mr. Kabera spoke about the production of “100 Days,” touching upon the significance for the film, as well as the difficulties and challenges the faced in making the film just three years after the end of the genocide.

An important theme of the discussion, in light of the 20th anniversary of the end of the genocide, was the idea of reconciliation. After such a tragedy in which so many suffered, is a full recovery possible? The answers varied, but many examples were mentioned, including solidarity movements and initiatives put in place that show just how far Rwanda has come down the path of reconciliation. Ambassador Nkulikiyinka highlighted time and persistent, incremental work on education and conscientiousness as being key to the reconciliation process.  Mr. Kabera discussed his current initiative to train young Rwandan filmmakers, demonstrating it as an important element to both a personal and national emotional processing of the events of 1994.    

Another important point addressed regarded genocide itself, and the possibility of eliminating genocide from today’s society. Responses were thoughtful and optimistic, using Rwanda as an example of a country that had suffered a tragic genocide in recent history and has since made incredible progress in the realm of reconciliation. The phrase, “never again,” was repeatedly voiced as one of the main goals for Rwanda in their national and international initiatives, spreading awareness in the hope that these events will not be repeated. 

Berlin Global.

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