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Ubuntu and the journey of listening to the Rwandan genocide story

Anna-Marie de Beer

Verbum et Ecclesia; Vol 36, No 2 (2015), 9 pages. doi: 10.4102/ve.v36i2.1436

Submitted: 22 February 2015
Published:  26 June 2015


In the face of collective trauma such as genocide, apartheid, mass killings and xenophobia,ubuntu requires of us to show solidarity with our fellow human beings. To my mind, one of the highest forms of doing so is to open up spaces of authentic listening to the stories of those who have experienced these atrocities. In the genocide narratives of the commemorative project Rwanda: Écrire par devoir de mémoire (Rwanda: Writing as a duty to memory), travelling and writing become a mode of listening and transformation. However, this theme is articulated very differently in the many texts which form part of the project. This article concentrates on one such representation of the transformative voyage that the writers propose, namely the highly symbolic work of Koulsy Lamko.

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Author affiliations

Anna-Marie de Beer, Department of Modern European Languages, University of Pretoria, South Africa


genocide; Rwanda; Koulsy Lamko, duty of memory, trauma, witness, representation


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ISSN: 1609-9982 (print) | ISSN: 2074-7705 (online)

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