“Until the lion tells his side of the story, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”
Rwanda commemorates the 25th anniversary of the genocide of the Tutsis on 7 April 1994 and how that story will be captured would have been left entirely to Western media in days gone by. With the advent of social media, this is no longer the case. The hunted can now decide which story to tell the world.
And so as AFP Photo announced its intention to exhibit pictures of the Rwandan genocide, Rwandans on Twitter were quick to counter what is western media’s obsession with portraying Africa as the dark continent, leaderless and with no success stories to tell.
On April 6, 1994, a plane carrying the Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana and the Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira was shot down over the Rwandan capital, Kigali. The crash triggered the start of three months of ethnic killings across Rwanda on an unprecedented scale.
Hutu political and military extremists orchestrated the killing of approximately three quarters of Rwanda’s Tutsi population, leaving more than half a million people dead. Many Hutu who attempted to hide or defend Tutsi and those who opposed the genocide were also killed.
While the Rwandan genocide is one of modern day’s most despicable episodes of ethnic violence, the Rwandans, victims and survivors, seem to want to remember the day but also to take stock of progress made.