Digital Archives, Memory & Reconstruction Symposium

Digital Archives, Memory & Reconstruction Symposium

On invitation by the Aegis Trust, Her Excellency Yamina Karitanyi, High Commissioner for the Republic of Rwanda, officially launched the ‘Digital Archives, Memory and Reconstruction’ symposium at King’s College London.

The 2-Day symposium is a follow up to the ‘Memory in a Digital Age’ conference held in Rwanda and aims to explore the implications, impact and transformative effects of digital archives and mass digitisation processes in the context of the Genocide Against the Tutsi and the subsequent process of justice, reconciliation and reconstruction.

In her remarks, the High Commissioner said the practice of remembering forms a key element of Rwanda’s post-Genocide reconstruction, and it is therefore key that data is preserved and made accessible, in our pursuit for the realisation of ‘Never Again’ and historical clarity, particularly as Rwanda’s archive sector was severely damaged during the Genocide in 1994.

The High Commissioner added that for Rwanda, a nation with a unique history and context that is still rebuilding, it is absolutely paramount that we preserve the memories and also make them accessible to the public in ways that are in-line with technological advances and user expectation. “The infrastructure is therefore available, we now need for data to be made available and accessible to all”

Her Excellency thanked the contributors to this project, noting that “what Rwanda has achieved, in this and many other fields, has been done in partnership with the world”, and that “we are therefore grateful for institutions and organisations such as Aegis Trust, Kings College London and the Arts and Humanities Research Council, who have walked with us on this journey of reconciliation, rebuilding, the pursuit for historical clarity, our fight against Genocide denial and revisionism, and the mission to make ‘Never Again’ a reality. To all our friends, we say murakoze cyane!”

A delegation from Rwanda is part of this symposium and includes Dr. Jean Damascene Bizimana, Executive Secretary of Rwanda’s National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide, Mr.Yves Kamuronsi (Aegis Trust), Mr. Claver Irakoze (Aegis Trust), Mr. Regis Rugemanshuro (CEO of Bank of Kigali TecHouse), Mr. Clement Uwajeneza (CEO of Rwanda Online).