The genocide in 1994 saw the world watch in horror as 70 per cent of the Rwandan Tutsi population was slaughtered by a Hutu majority.
This exhibition, presented by The Cultural Institute at King’s College London, is the result of a workshop held by Nigerian photographer Andrew Esiebo and US and Kenyan photographer Brendon Bannon, both of whom work internationally.
Esiebo and Bannon worked with Rwandan photographers and challenged them to question the way in which their country is portrayed internationally.
The project has allowed the photographers to show Rwanda as they know it today and sees them pose questions about tensions that still exist such as, ‘How do you live side by side with people who killed your families?’ and ‘How can you rebuild lives that were almost completely destroyed?’
One of the most enlightening results is the portrayal of a disparity in rural and urban living.
The capital Kigali has a growing economy, new buildings are being developed and a fashionable elite is emerging, which contrasts with a poverty-stricken countryside where tensions between neighbours still exist.
Alongside this work Esiebo is exhibiting his own study of Rwandan returnees – nationals who were exiled and have returned to reclaim their lives as the likes of taxi drivers and bankers.
He has captured them at their places of work – be that office, construction site or studio – and many of the people he has photographed are key figures in the arts in Kigali.
Rwanda In Photographs: Death Then, Life Now is presented by the Cultural Institute at King’s at Somerset House from 21 March – 30 April Strand, London WC2R 1LA.