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Inside the Kigali Genocide Memorial
Opened a decade after the genocide, the memorial is a solemn, tear-inducing museum. With giant wall displays, archival documents, photos, video footage and weapons encased in glass, the indoor exhibit sheds light on the Rwandan genocide, as well its pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial roots. The room filled with human skulls and bones was chilling but most heart-wrenching was the children’s memorial. From the details displayed next to their photos, I learned each child’s favourite foods and activities. It was like viewing a family album — except it abruptly ends with how the youngster’s life was violently snuffed out.
To provide an historical perspective, the indoor exhibit also delves into the sinister ideologies that provoked the world’s largest genocidal massacres from the Namibian genocide to the Holocaust. The Kigali Genocide Memorial is an important reminder that ethnic cleansing of this kind is a global phenomenon.
The indoor museum is comprised of three exhibits. The main exhibit is a comprehensive history of the years leading up to the genocide and the events of the massacres, including personal accounts. Texts are posted in Kinyarwanda, French and English. Photographs, video clips, and artifacts of the genocide are used to piece together the events as they unfolded. Some of it is hard to look at. This memorial, however, is milder than some of the others in Rwanda. Keep in mind, content is still graphic, so use discretion if you are hosting young ones.
Another exhibit, “Tomorrow Lost,” is dedicated to children murdered in the genocide and features a series of photographs and biographies of young victims. “Wasted Lives” gives brief histories of the genocides in Armenia, South-West Africa, Bosnia, Cambodia, and The Holocaust.
Outdoors are mass graves of over 250,000 genocide victims. Visitors are welcome to pay their respects or take time to reflect in any of the gardens on the memorial grounds. (Taking pictures outdoors is free of charge but there are fees for taking photos of the indoor exhibits: $100 for professionals, $20 for adults, and $10 for students and residents).[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Gallery” tab_id=”1535533121099-38113009-5822″][vc_images_carousel images=”3665,3664,3663,3662″ img_size=”full” speed=”2000″ autoplay=”yes”][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Location” tab_id=”1535535411958-74d70d26-3578″][vc_gmaps link=”#E-8_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”][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_tabs][/vc_column][/vc_row]