Remembering Rwanda

Rwanda: 15 years on, DFID

Anniversaries of atrocities have filled 2014: 100 years since the fields of slaughter on the western front and many other parts of the world. 70 years since D-Day. 30 years since a chemical cloud engulfed Bhopal exposing hundreds of thousands of inhabitants to toxic gas. And it’s been 20 years since the genocide committed in Rwanda.

Remembering the last of these tragedies is the subject of a new review this week by Christopher Davis. He considers the importance of returning to a moment, an event of catastrophe, revisiting the location and the stories of the survivors that David Belton provokes in his book When the Hills Ask for Your Blood. Belton was in Rwanda at the time of the genocide and witnessed the killings. But his book doesn’t simply recount what happened. He tells the story of a couple who not only survived but have forged a new kind of life in the genocide’s shadow. Davis discusses how effective Belton’s book is  in remembering one more anniversary of atrocity.