Rwanda in Photographs (exhibition closes Wednesday April 30th)

by Andrew Esiebo

by Andrew Esiebo

On Saturday morning I went to look again at the ‘Rwanda in Photographs: Death Then, Life Now‘ exhibition at Somerset House.   Curated by Zoe Norridge and Mark Sealy, the exhibition grew out of a photography workshop in Kigali convened by Zoe Norridge and facilitated by Andrew Ezeibo and Brendan Bannon.  Eziebo’s beautiful series of portraits ‘Returnees’ was one of the things that I particularly wanted to go back and see again.  The exhibition as a whole captures lots of the things I miss about everyday life in Kigali.  I wish I had time to write something that does justice to this powerful collection of images of Rwanda by Rwandan photographers – but rest assured we will be publishing a review on Africa in Words before too long.  In the meantime, if you are in London between now and Wednesday, go and see for yourself.  

Please find more details of the exhibition and remaining events programme below.

The Rwanda in Photographs exhibition at the Inigo Rooms, Somerset House East Wing, closes next Wednesday April 30th.

Please join us for our final two events:

Split/Mixed. Followed by Q&A with writer and actor Ery Nzaramba

Monday 28 April 2014, 19.00-21.00

Inigo Rooms, Somerset House East Wing, London WC2R 2LS

Tickets: £5 (£3 students, King’s staff and alumni, unwaged)

Book tickets

This is first UK performance of Split/Mixed – a one man play that offers a portrait of a boy and a country. Eddy, the speaker, grows up in a safe, comfortable, middle-class environment in Kigali. But everything changes when the president’s plane is shot down on April 6th 1994. Exploring what it means to be born to Hutu and Tutsi parents, and to grow up in exile this work explores the challenges of positioning yourself in relation to Rwanda’s difficult past. Writer, Director and Actor Ery Nzaramba is Rwandan-born artist working in the UK. His recent work includes Prey (ITV/Red Productions), The Epic Adventure of Nhamo (Tricycle Theatre/Tiata Fahodzi), Blood Wedding, The Bacchae (The Royal and Derngate), The Snow Queen (Trestle Theatre/British Council) and When I Lived in Peru (BBC Radio Drama). Split/Mixed sound design is by Helen Skiera.

Photographing Rwanda After Genocide

Tuesday 29 April 2014, 18.00 – 20.00

Inigo Rooms, Somerset House East Wing, London WC2R 2LS

Tickets: £5 (£3 students, King’s staff and alumni, unwaged)

Book tickets

Join a panel of Rwandan and international photographers to explore how Rwanda is depicted images twenty years after the genocide.  Held within the gallery, this closing event for the exhibition offers the chance to meet three of the photographers whose work is on display.  We will discuss the kinds of images used to represent genocide and its aftermath, the growth of Rwandan photography over the past twenty years and the ongoing challenges involved in circulating new images from Rwanda that complicate existing narratives.


• John Mbanda, photojournalist for The New Times, Rwanda

• Mussa Uwitonze, photographer with Through the Eyes of Children, Rwanda

• Laura Elizabeth Pohl, international photographer and filmmaker based in Rwanda

• Jenny Matthews, conflict and development photographer working in Rwanda since 1994


by Jacqueline Rutagarama

Rwanda in Photographs

Twenty years after the genocide in Rwanda that led to the deaths of up to a million people, this exhibition brings work by professional Rwandan photographers to international audiences for the first time. These intimate images of everyday life in the Great Lakes communicate the complexities of survival after mass violence. How do you live side by side with people who killed your families? How can you rebuild lives that were almost completely destroyed?

The photographs are the fruits of a workshop led by award-winning international photographers Andrew Esiebo (Nigeria) and Brendan Bannon (US and Kenya) in which photographers from Rwanda questioned the ways in which their country is portrayed internationally.

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 resulting images reveal a nation in the midst of profound change. In capital city Kigali the economy is strengthening, new buildings are springing up and a fashionable elite is taking root. In more rural areas the scars of genocide are still visibly present in ongoing neighbourly tensions and changing but enduring poverty.

This exhibition marks a step change in the global perception of a country. Photographs by Rwandan artists are yet to be circulated widely among international networks. Now, two decades after the events that brought this small East-African country onto the front pages of our newspapers, we are redressing this. By listening to Rwandan narratives and viewing Rwanda through Rwandan images we come a step closer to understanding the scale and scope of the country’s journey.

Presented by the Cultural Institute at King’s.
Co-curated by Dr Zoe Norridge, Lecturer in English and Comparative Literature, Department of English and Mark Sealy, Director of Autograph ABP.


Categories: Announcements, News, & Upcoming

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3 replies


  1. Between Imagination and Madness: Matière grise (2011) – review |
  2. Between Imagination and Madness: Matière grise (2011) – Review | BAKWA
  3. Between Imagination and Madness: Matière grise (2011) – review

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