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Pilgrimage of Pain & Hope

During the summer of 2005, Duke students, faculty and alumni traveled to Rwanda and neighboring Uganda on a trip sponsored by Duke Divinity School. This Pilgrimage of Pain & Hope explored the aftermath of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, during which an estimated 800,000 people died, and documented the survivors' healing process.

Photo By Bryan Baker D'07

“Hail Mary”—Mirambi Genocide Memorial.

A documentary exhibit of photographs taken during that trip was displayed in the Reynolds Art Gallery in the Bryan Center throughout the fall semester.

Duke University also sponsored a series of events in October exploring the genocide through the African nation's art and music. They included a screening of a documentary film, “Shake Hands with the Devil,” several discussions featuring artists, activists, and scholars speaking about the genocide and its aftermath, and a performance of traditional Rwandan spiritual music and dance. The arts, as well as religious and political action, have helped tell the story of the genocide, and helped the nation heal its wounds.

For more information about how to participate in upcoming pilgrimages to Brazil and South Africa go to http://www.divinity.duke.edu/bcs/initiatives/.

Photo By Jessica Terrell D'06

Genocide Memorial at Catholic Church—2,000 Tutsi who had sought refuge here were massacred by Hutu. The soldiers shot and slashed victims with machetes, then bulldozed the church and crushed the remaining Tutsi to death. Rubble and memorial crosses are what remain at the site today.

Photo By Tiffney Marley D '96

“The Tree of Life”—Mirambi Genocide Memorial—Though surrounded by the remains of those killed during the genocide, this tree springs forth as a symbol of new life.

“Shadows of the Past"
Life has gone on for contemporary Rwandans; however, they are still living with the memories of the 1994 genocide.

Photo By Rachel Parrott D'06


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DIVINITY Online Edition :: Winter 2006 Volume 5 Number 2 Duke Divinity School