“800,000 Acknowledge. Remember. Renew.” is heading to the UN Headquarters, June 16 – 27th, 2014.
We are running a Kickstarter Campaign to assist in the show. Check it out below.
In 1994, Rwanda experienced a tribal genocide during which an estimated 800,000* people were killed in 100 days.
The myths of race and ethnicity built between the majority Hutu and minority Tutsi during colonization, culminated into genocide after the April 6, 1994, assassination of the Hutu President, Habyarimana and others in a plane crash. The crash incited the Rwandan Military, the Hutu Power, and the Interhamwe (village militia) to begin eliminating all Tutsi and moderate Hutu resulting in over 10% of the Rwandan population being killed. Even now, Rwanda continues to struggle with the forces of poverty and a society rife with personal loss.
The installation is made of 800,000 pages in 2500 books displayed in 100 crates: one page for each victim, one crate for each day of the war. The books have been hand-bound through the collaboration of the 800,000 team, six high schools, and three groups. An accompaniment track of music produced by a group from Harrisburg adds to the atmosphere.
Viewers of the exhibit can both learn about the incident and also do something for the country in response. The historical context of the exhibit is available for viewing at the entrance, but the installation is interactive, giving the viewer that tangible means of helping. The project asks the viewer to acknowledge the war, remember the victims, and help the country by donating $5 the Kayinamura Foundation for projects in Rwanda. They can then place their handprint on one page of a book. The goal, therefore, is to have each life lost acknowledged, remembered, and then hope renewed, while raising over $4 million for Rwanda.
*This number is taken from data as of 2004. Current estimations are over one million.