Do we understand life after genocide? Centre and periphery in the knowledge construction in/on Rwanda
A reflection on the existing “constructs of knowledge” on Rwanda reveals that these are rife with contradictory assertions and images. We therefore map “the frontier of knowledge construction”, the centre(s) of society where not only policy is made, but where knowledge is actively construed, managed and controlled. We identify a discrepancy between “image” and “reality” in/on post-genocide Rwanda. We do so to be able to address the fundamental question: “do we really understand life after genocide?” We argue that crucial variables remain un- or under-explored due to an at times active interference in the scientific construction of knowledge; an overall cultivation of the aesthetics of progress and a culturally specific communication code. We analyze the “mise-en-scène” (stage-setting) of Rwanda and argue for greater attention to the “mise-en-sens” (meaning-giving and overall direction). We stress the need to carry out a adopt a bottom-up perspective in order to capture the voices of ordinary people.
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