Rwandan Genocide; what we- Nigerians, can learn from it

Its the weekend and everyone will be unwinding, as usual, be an impact to your society how you can… Enjoy the read…

If you run a Google search with the keyword “Rwanda“, the word genocide creeps in instantly. Do a similar search in Google Images and your screen is quickly inundated with piles of scattered and hacked bodies, grisly mountains of skulls and long columns of fleeing refugees.

It does not matter that it has been 20 years since this devastating violence that left about one million people dead in Rwanda, still global perceptions of the tiny country in east-central Africa are often still stuck in 1994. Images of horror and ruin, as captured by the lenses of foreigners, are still circulating internationally, even though the country has come a long way since those dark days.

To address this, an exhibition was took place in London, showcasing insightful snapshots of daily life in today’s Rwanda as seen through the eyes of local photographers. The exhibition was called “Rwanda in Photographs: Death Then, Life Now, this show aimed at “communicating the complexities of survival after mass violence,” while helping international audiences to “understand the scale and scope of the country’s journey.”

A photograph by business information technology student Claudia Ingabire.
CLAUDIA INGABIRE

The exhibition featured arresting images by more than 10 professional and amateur photographers who back in November, 2013 took part in an eight-day workshop led by the prominent Nigerian photographer Andrew Esiebo and the Kenya-based American photojournalist Brendan Bannon.

It was a platform to allow people to come together to tell their stories.
Andrew Esiebo, photographer

“We worked with the Rwandan photographers to give them the opportunity to visually tell how they see their country,” explained Esiebo, whose work has been exhibited around the world. “It was a platform to allow people to come together to tell their stories,” he added.

“Often, if you see images coming from Rwanda, the majority has been taken by non-Rwandans — this is a chance for them to question the way their country is being interpreted.”

The final result was a collection of diverse images ranging from intimate portraits to eye-catching landscapes that provided an insight into the complex changes that are currently underway in Rwanda — snapshots of the rising capital Kigali, where new buildings are popping up and assertive women are taking a leading role in urban commercial life, also accompanied by scenes of rural life, where poverty and hardship endure.

The exhibition also hosts a series of portraits of “Returnees” by Andrew Esiebo.
ANDREW ESIEBO

The exhibition also featured “Returnees,” a series of portraits taken by Esiebo capturing Rwandans from all walks of life who have come back to help in the redevelopment of their countryCan ‘African Craigslist’ turn a prof“The people make the country,” said Esiebo, who decided to extend his stay in the landlocked country after the workshop to shoot the “Returnees” and also produce a Rwandan version of his popular series of photographs of West African barber shops.

“It was quite interesting to see young, vibrant people coming to add value to the society,” he said. “It’s one of the most fulfilling projects I’ve seen myself doing lately, especially in the frame of questioning what people see about Rwandans.”

This makes us, Nigerians question what we are doing to salvage the deteriorating state of our Country, we do not have the “genocide” they had. We have bombs blowing up all over the Country, all forms of chaos arising and this leaves everyone with the same thoughts, “What will a Nigeria of tomorrow look like?”

We should start today to make plans about it, impact someone beside you..

Do something… Comments and views are welcome

Have a fruitful and pleasant weekend…

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