Tuesday, July 26, 2011

IRIBA CENTER in Rwanda: A Media Archive to Remember History

I'm writing to ask you to support the creation of the Iriba Center in Rwanda, a media archive. Hopefully, you are familiar with Anne Aghion's remarkable films on gacaca; the most recent being "My Neighbor, My Killer". I find her style of film-making, which allows Rwandans to speak without any voice-over narrative, renders the complexity of gacaca and reconciliation in Rwanda with great sensitivity. I use her films a great deal in teaching and am amazed that they speak to students who know little or nothing of Rwanda, to Rwandans, and to scholars specializing in the region.

Her final products required literally hundreds of hours of filming in Rwanda over 10 years time. The vast majority of footage she shot did not make it into the films and has been residing under her bed in her Paris apartment. She has been looking for a suitable archive for this footage and decided to create the Iriba Center in Kigali, modeled after the Bophana Center in Cambodia, so that scholars and Rwandans can have access not only to this film footage but also other films and documentation.

She and her collaborators are raising money through a Kickstarter campaign: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1021275587/iriba-center-in-rwanda-a-media-archive-to-remember
Kickstarter is a fundraising website that raises money to launch projects. The goal is to raise $40,000 by August 21. As of this morning, the campaign has almost reached 50%.

I just made my pledge today, and I ask you to consider making a pledge in any amount to support this important project. Even 1$ will make an important difference!

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