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Representing Genocide in Rwanda Genocide Memorials - Essay Example

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Summary to essay on topic "Representing Genocide in Rwanda Genocide Memorials"
In the year 1994, Africa and the world witnessed one of the worst massacres in history. It was characterized by heavy bloodshed, amputations, and worst of all loss of lives. About half a million people perished in this inhumane Rwandan war. This was however not the end of it, because more Rwandese nationals were affected from its neighboring countries like Congo…
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Download file "Representing Genocide in Rwanda Genocide Memorials" to see previous pages... The minority who were the Tutsi people were to be executed whenever they were seen. This also applied to all Hutus who tried to sympathize or help the minorities in any way.
Many have been blamed for these atrocities. One such body is the United Nations which has apologized to the Rwandese government for letting such horrendous acts proceed while turning a blind eye.
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This was in violation of the UN treaty signed shortly after the Second World War. It authoritatively stipulated that no other massacres will be allowed to occur after the world war. (BBC News, 2004)
Three years after the genocide (1997), the Rwandese government decided to build a genocide museum. This is a combination of many memorials that are located throughout the country. The purpose of these memorial sites is to preserve the memory of the massacre and to allow people the chance of remembering their lost ones. The memorials come in two varieties; the first category is a site for burying all those people who lost their lives as a result of the massacre. The second category has bones placed in enclosures and also bodies put in enclosures.
These memorials have solicited mixed reactions from various culturalists and experts. Some people have called them impersonal and foreign. They have claimed that the slogan adopted for these memorial sites does not fit the Rwandese experience. This is because the slogan was borrowed from the Jewish Holocaust of the early twentieth Century. Most of the critics have claimed that ides have been borrowed from foreign occurrences and do not reflect the Rwandese experience. Others have even gone as far as claiming that the genocide memorials show how Rwanda is still experiencing post colonialism and is not free to express itself. This is because they feel that the whole arrangement was designed to woo audiences from the West- these mostly include tourists.

Other observers have been quite positive about the whole idea. One such tourist was Caplan, an anthropologist and a lecturer in a University in London. She praises the way the pieces were displayed and claims that she can identify with them personally. She also
Feels that the work was professional and that everything was just how she had expected it to be. (Caplan, 2007)

It is therefore imperative for one to examine all sides of the issue to come with a valid conclusion on the matter. It is clear that the issue is controversial as many people hold strong opinions about it; genocide is no easy matter to tackle. One must put in mind that there are people who hold the subject close to them since as they may be living under the effects of what the Genocide did to them.

Literature review
Raymond Williams (1999) believed that contemporary theorists had missed the mark. They tried explaining social relations against an economic and political backdrop. They make human beings seem passive and do not consider the individual perspective. He also believed in the idea of Total expression. This meant that it was possible for one explain historical traditions on the basis of this concept. Williams (1999) uses the idea to study the European culture in the nineteenth century. He explains their way of life based on traditions as their foundation.

The latter mentioned theorists also ...Download file "Representing Genocide in Rwanda Genocide Memorials" to see next pagesRead More
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