Exhibitions

Rwanda in Photographs: Death Then, Life Now

21 March - 30 April 2014

Inigo Rooms

London, UK

Past exhibition

Marking the twentieth anniversary of the genocide this April, Rwanda in Photographs is the first group show outside of Rwanda of work by professional Rwandan photographers.

Rwanda is a country of contrasts. From the rising skyscrapers of central Kigali with their promise of economic growth to the rural hills of Musanze where people are pulling themselves out of poverty but life remains a struggle. Rwandans have seen peace within their borders but still live with the memories of 1994.



Photographs of Rwanda have not always captured the diversity and complexity of the country. Visiting photojournalists tend to focus on traces of genocide, the development story, or the country’s beautiful landscapes and mountain gorillas.



Rwanda in Photographs complicates and extends this way of looking. Eleven Rwandan photographers and Nigerian photographer-facilitator Andrew Esiebo show us their interests and passions, the enduring social issues they see in the country and the strength of the Rwandan people.



These are moments of life in Rwanda today, seen through Rwandan eyes.



What the press says

So much of this exhibition is bright, busy, full, but there are ghosts here, too, who are still so powerfully a part of the life that flourishes in Rwanda.

Shahidha Bari, Times Higher Education

20 years on from the massacre of an estimated 1 million people, the news that the country has found ways to live with its traumatic past may be a surprise. As is often the case with war-torn countries, moving on – in the mind of the outsider – is often a plague in itself. This new exhibition at the Cultural Institute at Kings College London presents an alternative viewpoint to this: a body of work created by Rwandan photographers to represent this new-found life and development.

Laura Thornley, The Cultural Expose

Too often the country is reduced to images of violence and death, as seen through the eyes of outsiders. For this exhibition, Rwandans have challenged this gaze and now show us their country through their own eyes.

The British Blacklist

Each photographer offers their own unique insight into Rwanda

Londonist

It's been 20 years since the devastating violence that left about one million people dead in Rwanda, but global perceptions of the tiny country in east-central Africa are often still stuck in 1994...To address this, a new exhibition opens Friday in London, showcasing insightful snapshots of daily life in today's Rwanda as seen through the eyes of local photographers.

CNN

Three cheers for an exhibition that is ordinary. Applause is deserved because it’s about an African country but it’s not about starvation, malnutrition, refugees, conflict, famine or environmental catastrophe...it’s the first group show of work by Rwandan photographers outside Rwanda and they “show us moments of life in Rwanda today, seen through Rwandan eyes.” For that, three cheers.

Dainel Nelson, Oneworld

Maybe most affecting is Musafiri and Bannon's joint work...that highlight the layers of painful memory behind innocuous-seeming scenes

The Metro

By listening to Rwandan narratives and viewing Rwanda through Rwandan images we come closer to understanding the scale and scope of the country’s journey

Artlyst

Your thoughts

Rwanda in Photographs challenges and confounds my pre-existing modes of sight. I am presented with ordinary moments of daily life in the country. Moreover, as the first collection of images taken by Rwandans, I am now seeing as they see. I am told where to look, I am told what matters, what demands my attention, what deserves my appreciation. I am shown a culturally rich and complex nation...Undeniably, throughout the exhibition, the physical and mental scars of genocide are still evident. They are part of the stories too, but they don’t become the only story.

Ella Dickinson, Documentary Photographer. Click here to read the entire review

Exhibitions like this from Autograph ABP challenge the typical media view of Africa and its disapora

Shaun Connell

Death Then, Life Now. Powerful exhibition of photos from Rwanda

Michael Gray

Saw this yesterday - so engaging. I learnt so much. If only more photojournalism shown in London was like it

Madeleine Corcoran

Beautiful photography exhibition on Rwanda then and now

Lucy Bradlow

Fantastic exhibition

Lizzie Walmsley

In partnership with

The Cultural Institute at King’s

The Cultural Institute at King’s connects the College with practitioners, producers, policy makers and participants across arts and culture, creating space where conventions are challenged and original perspectives emerge.

Credits

Curated by

Dr Zoe Norridge

Dr Zoe Norridge is Lecturer in English and Comparative Literature at King's College London. She specialises in African literature and cultural responses to the genocide in Rwanda.

Mark Sealy

Mark Sealy MBE is the Director of Autograph ABP. He is currently a PhD candidate at Durham University, his research focuses on photography and cultural violence.

Presented by

Cultural Institute at King’s

The Cultural Institute at King’s connects the College with practitioners, producers, policy makers and participants across arts and culture, creating space where conventions are challenged and original perspectives emerge.

Supported by

The Arts and Humanities Research Council

Event partners

Survivors Fund (SURF)

Survivors Fund (SURF) works with survivor’s organisations to develop and deliver, fundraise and advocate for, monitor and evaluate programmes to deliver justice, rebuild the lives and empower survivors of the Rwandan genocide.

Royal African Society

The Royal African Society promotes Africa in business, politics, culture and academia. We are a membership society that works to foster better understanding and strong relationships between Britain, Africa and the world.

SOAS

SOAS, University of London is the world's leading institution for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East Since its formation in 1916,

REDRESS

REDRESS is a human rights organisation that helps torture survivors obtain justice and reparation. REDRESS works with survivors to help restore their dignity and to make torturers accountable.

Events

Genocide Commemoration with Survivors Fund

Fri 21 March 6 - 7pm, followed by reception

King's College London Chapel, London

Read more »

Rwanda 1994-2014: Looking Back, Looking Forward

Mon 24 March 6:30 - 8pm 2014, followed by reception

Great Hall, King's College London

Read more »

A Just Response to Genocide?

Wed 26 March 2014, 6:30 - 8pm

Inigo Rooms, London

Read more »

Photographing Rwanda After Genocide

Tue 29 April, 6 - 8pm

Inigo Rooms, London

Read more »

Press contact

For further information please contact Anna Arthur and Annie Hughes at Arthur Leone PR, 020 7836 7660 or annie@arthurleone.com

Additional Info

Venue
Inigo Rooms
Somerset House East Wing
Strand Campus
London WC2R 2LS
Website

Hours
Open daily 12pm - 6pm 
Open until 8pm on Thursdays

  • Photo by Jacqueline Rutagarama
  • Installation at Inigo Rooms. Photo © Jana Chiellino 2014
  • Photo by John Mbanda
  • Installation at Inigo Rooms. Photo © Jana Chiellino 2014
  • Photo by Mussa Uwitonze
  • Installation at Inigo Rooms. Photo © Jana Chiellino 2014
  • Photo by Jean Luc Habyarimana
  • Photo by Jean Bizimana
  • Photo by Fabrice Musafiri
  • Installation at Inigo Rooms. Photo © Jana Chiellino 2014