kigali notes

Militia man to priest: May I destroy this church (containing 2,000 Tutsi refugees)? Priest: Yes, we’ll build another.


Only very courageous persons could act as Christians.”


Evangelization as colonial mapping, framing firm structures that formed the cracks that made the space for genocide. The church explicitly aligned with state power and genocidal planning since the beginning of the 20th century.


A heavy focus on individual acts of forgiveness and reconciliation, with insufficient demand for institutional apologies (the church, France, the UN).


“I came into my neighbor’s house and it was empty, except the sofa cushions were full of blood.”


“The church has removed taboos…” Indigenous systems of purgation/mediation abolished; less restraint on murder.


“In theological training locally, it is still forbidden to discuss genocide.”


E. Said: “You can’t form a state without permission to narrate.”


And likewise a place of reflection.


It is impermissible for an African country to question a European power.


I wanted to include here some images from Nyamata, but I just can’t type them. They are of a kind that give rise to several character types in Soulographie, chiefly Jack, Rory, and also Dogface… the violations are so outrageous that one is caught up in a kind of moral hallucination – where actions are performed on the basis of choice, but all choices are made as if the world were peopled with cartoons – abominable and giddy. One is unmoored from what one knows in hearing about the woman in the cellar, or the children at the wall.

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