Memory Dialogues

July 13, 2018 - July 15, 2018
The second set of conversations within the Empathy and Risk Dialogues project were convened in 2018


The MEMORY Dialogues were convened in Kigali, Rwanda, as part of the 4th Ubumuntu Festival of Humanity.



Transcript from Legacy Discussion (Extract)


Transcript from Empathy Discussion (Complete)

1/2 Memory Dialogue event at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre
2/2 Memory Dialogue event at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre

The MEMORY Dialogues brought together artists, policymakers and activists reflecting on the areas of memory and violence.

MEMORY Dialogues was one of the three interlinked components of the Empathy & Risk project presented at the Ubumuntu Festival 2018.  The other two components were Thought Curfew – a theatre performance, and Mirror: Legacya video installation.

In creating three interlinked programmes of live performance, video work, and public discussion; Empathy & Risk hoped to bring together different forums of engagement and intervention so that art and advocacy, audience and performer, artist and policymaker can meet and exchange experiences in a dynamic exploration of common pursuits.

The first session MEMORY Dialogue: Legacy explored the challenges of inherited memory. In a time of reflection, when haunted by history, what are the mechanisms for personal, institutional and societal acceptance of the narratives of others and themselves. The conversation focused on the complexity of shared histories of polarized perspectives and the way in which human experience can be understood beyond the generations of those involved.

The second MEMORY Dialogue: Empathy explored the place of human discernment, empathy and discretion within structures that exist to respond to human crises. This session focused on the capacity of organisations for honest, intelligent and intuitive self-reflection within an environment of continuous change. The panel discussed the obstacles to the creation of a shared space for collective engagement.


Memory Dialogues : Legacy Panellists:

  • Hon Edouard Bamporiki MP – Minister of Rwandan Parliament, Writer & Artist. Area of work: Transitional justice, remembrance & reconciliation
  • Alexandra Bayfield – Social Development Adviser – Department for International Development Rwanda. Area of work: International development, women & girls empowerment
  • Yannick Ndoli Kamanzi – Rwandan Dancer and Script Writer. Participating in the Ubumuntu Festival project: Mirror : Legacy. Area of work: Culture, transmission and legacy.
  • Denis Bikesha – Dean, University of Rwanda School of Law. Area of work: Transitional justice and Legacy
  • Moderated by David Cotterrell

Memory Dialogues : Empathy Panellists:

  • Atiq Rahimi – French-Afghan Writer, Filmmaker & Photographer participating in Ubumuntu Festival.
  • Samantha Lakin – Fulbright-IIE Scholar, PhD Candidate, Clark University
Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Area of work: Genocide memorialization, transitional justice, human rights and humanitarian aid, and global politics.
  • Jean Nepo Ruhumuriza Ndahimana – Aegis Peace School Coordinator, writer, peace activist and trainer. Area of work: Education, journalism, peace building education, memory and prevention.
  • Eric Nagangare – Multilingual hip hop poet, spoken word artist, blogger and actor, participating in Memory : Legacy art installation project.
  • Moderated by David Cotterrell

The MEMORY Dialogues were supported by the Arts and Design Research Centre of Sheffield Hallam University, in partnership with British Council East Africa Arts Programme.