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KU Libraries host exhibit reflecting on Rwanda and Herero genocides

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The University of Kansas Libraries are hosting a new exhibit, “A Reflection of Genocide in Africa: Rwanda and the Herero.” Located in the International Collections reading room on the fifth floor of Watson Library, the exhibit explores the history and cultural circumstances surrounding the Rwanda and Herero genocides.

“A Reflection of Genocide in Africa: Rwanda and the Herero” features photographs, books and other texts from KU Libraries’ International Collections. The exhibit explores a range of topics, including the role of religion, the media and the international community on the genocides, placing survivors at the forefront.

“This exhibit features materials that tell a powerful story about oppression and dehumanization,” said Musa Olaka, curator of the exhibit and an assistant librarian in KU Libraries’ International Collections. “The Herero genocide, for example, was the first genocide of the 20th century; it is a genocide that has largely been forgotten. These narratives demonstrate how connected we are as a global community and highlight the process of dehumanization.”

The exhibit also explores life after genocide and the reconstruction efforts. “As We Forgive” by Catherin Claire Larson and “After Genocide” by Phil Clark and Zachary D. Kaufman are just two texts that place post-genocide life on display.

“While these materials may be difficult to experience, I’m hopeful that these narratives will teach the KU community to speak out against oppression,” said Musa.

The exhibit will be on display through August 1.

The KU Libraries’ exhibit program displays the strengths of the libraries’ collections and highlights the creativity evident in our KU campus community. Exhibits are an important element and an educational tool for students and faculty. More information on KU Libraries’ exhibits can be found on their webpage.

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