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Event Details

Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020 | 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

French Lecture Series - Les Blessures du silence: genocide, post-genocide, and reconciliation in Rwanda

Yolande Mukagasana a writer and scholar from Rwanda will present "Les Blessures du silence: genocide, post-genocide, and reconciliation in Rwanda." Her memoir La Mort ne veut pas de moi (Death Doesn’t Want Me) remains, to this day, one of the most invaluable eyewitness accounts of the Genocide of the Tutsi in 1994. It came out in 1997, shortly after her escape to Belgium, where for many years she lived in exile.  

Today, Yolande is back in Rwanda, where she is actively involved in the post-genocide reconciliation process, tirelessly working to bridge the gulf between perpetrators, survivors and returnees.

Her other publications, all available in a wide variety of languages, include Les Blessures du silence (The Scars of Silence), a collection of first-hand testimonies and photographs of genocide survivors and perpetrators.  Her most recent publication, L’ONU et le chagrin d’une négresse (The UN and the Sorrows of a Black Woman), is a political essay on the shortcomings of the United Nations in managing the series of local and regional crises that culminated in the 1994 Genocide of Tutsi in Rwanda and the Great Lake War in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Yolande has been awarded several prizes and honors, including: an Award of Distinction from UNESCO, in recognition of her advocacy for sustainable peace through education (2003); the Twenty-First-Century Woman of Resistance Prize in Belgium (2003); and an Achievement Award from the American Jewish Community in 2008.

In this talk, "Les blessures du silence," Yolande will share some elements of her experience as a genocide survivor, writer, essayist, independent scholar, and community organizer dedicated to transitional justice and reconciliation in post-genocide Rwanda.

Senegalese writer Boubacar Boris Diop will moderate the event, sponsored by the Department of French and Francophone Studies

This lecture will be in French

Contact Theresa Klauer at for zoom link.


Audience: Faculty, Staff, Students

Sponsor: French and Francophone Studies

Listed under: Front Page Events, Lectures and Speakers