Testimonies of Rwandan genocide survivors to be read Tuesday

From "Intended Consequences"

WALTHAM, Mass. -- On Tuesday, April 7, members of the Brandeis community will come together at the Women’s Studies Research Center to read testimonies from survivors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The event, which is being held in conjunction with “Intended Consequences,” the photo exhibit currently on display at the WSRC, will commemorate the 15th anniversary of the genocide.

Noam Schouster ’11, is helping to organize the reading, which will begin at 4:45 p.m. For more information about the event, or “Intended Consequences,” read the exhibit press release.

BrandeisNOW: How did the reading of the testimonies come together?

Noam Shouster ‘11: The reading of the testimonies is not only happening at Brandeis, it’s happening as a part of the photo exhibition that is now at the Women’s Studies Research Center- "Intended Consequences” by Jonathan Torgovnik. A part of the exhibition is reading the testimonies of women that are in the photos. This will be happening at many different universities in the United States. It’s also happening at the United Nations. And we have a very diverse group of faculty and students who will be reading, but it is only women because all the testimonies are from Rwandan women. Each reader chose a testimony they connected with. For example, one professor has a 7-year old-daughter, and she’s going to read the testimony of a 7-year-old girl.

BrandeisNOW: How did you get involved in this?

NS: I am a 2009 Ethics Center Sorensen Fellow, and my project will be in Rwanda. I’ve been spending this semester preparing for my internship at the Genocide Research Center, and this is one of the things that I’ve been doing. When I’m in Rwanda this summer, I will also be joining a theater group that is going to work with survivors and see how theater can be used as a means of reconciliation.

BrandeisNOW: Why is it important for Brandeis to be one of the sites around the world that’s hosting the reading of the testimonies?

NS: This university was built because a group of people was being treated unequally, so Brandeis should be a place where we remember what happened 15 years ago in Rwanda.

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