The Kigali Genocide Memorial hosted the screening of ‘The Faces We Lost’ as part of its Kwibuka film and conversation series. This film by Dr Piotr Cieplak shares how Rwandans use personal and family album photographs to remember and commemorate their loved ones killed in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
This film follows nine Rwandans (survivors, relatives of victims and professional memory-makers), who guide us through their stories and share their experiences, remembrance and images.
After one hour watching the film, guests and speakers participated in an engaging conversation. On the panel we had two survivors featured in the film: Maman Lambert, she gives support and consolation to genocide widows and orphans; Serge Rwigamba, he heads guides at the Kigali Genocide Memorial. And Piotr Cieplak, the Director of ‘The Faces We lost’.
Speaking on the background of how the idea to make this film came, Piotr recalled his experience during his first visit to Rwanda as a PhD student in Rwanda back in 2008. “I went around the country showing movies in villages, stadium, bus stations and market places and one of the most memories of that trip was a visit to the small, dark room of photographs of Genocide victims in the Kigali Genocide Memorial”.
The Director also shared with the audience on his intention in making this film:
“My intention was to show the genocide from a personal perspective, where survivors are center stage of the narrative instead of being used as illustrations of wider points, made by someone else”
“One of the most important messages of the film is to show how people can be remembered for how they lived, not how they died”
Piotr added, explaining the key message of this film.
Through collaboration with the Aegis Trust, ‘The Faces We Lost’ also explored the professional aspect of memory-making in Rwanda: the Genocide Archive of Rwanda (which holds thousands of original images donated by the victims’ relatives) and the Kigali Genocide Memorial (where many of the photographs are on public display).
The event gathered other members of survivors associations in Rwanda, organisations preventing genocide as well as young people from local universities eager to learn more on Interdisciplinary approach to IMAGE, EVIDENCE, and MEMORY.
This was the third Kwibuka film and conversation event in a series of screenings hosted at Kigali Genocide Memorial. Watch the trailer of the The Faces We Lost