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About this project

(Pour nos amis français et francophones, une version française se trouve après le logo… merci!)

Join us on a project that will have a long-lasting impact on Rwanda and its people: IRIBA CENTER FOR MULTIMEDIA HERITAGE will keep the country’s history alive and accessible for all Rwandans. IRIBA CENTER is the extension of more than a decade of work by multiple award-winning filmmaker (and Sundance Institute grantee) Anne Aghion.

Since 1994, all Rwandans share genocide as their central legacy. As they search for a path to long-lasting recovery and peace, discovering—or re-discovering—their common history and cultural identity is essential to moving forward and to consolidating peaceful coexistence. Our goal is to give free and open access to that history in picture and sound.

IRIBA CENTER FOR MULTIMEDIA HERITAGE, whose name means “the source,” will gather films, photographs and audio recordings dating from the start of colonial rule in East Africa, more than a century ago, to the present day.  On site—in a building the French Embassy in Kigali has already pledged to us—we will offer individual screening stations, and create class and group programs. Just as important, we also plan to send mobile cinema programs out into the rural communities where most Rwandans—and the most disenfranchised Rwandans—live.

Audiovisual materials are an important part of any country’s historical and cultural legacy.  But in Rwanda, where many do not read or write, less than a generation after the most efficient genocide of the twentieth century, these resources will play a critical role for future generations to learn about their past as they build towards a common future free of strife.


For over a decade, Anne Aghion has made a series of films about the emotional impact of Rwanda’s post-genocide justice and social reconstruction process. Her latest feature, MY NEIGHBOR MY KILLER, screened in Official Selection at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, and continues to be shown around the world.

To date, Anne’s films have been seen by tens of thousands of Rwandans, including accused genocide perpetrators in prison yards, women in survivor groups, communities gathered around mobile screens, and government officials at the highest level. Many of these screenings were followed by group discussions, which were first-hand lessons in the potent role film can—and should—play in fostering open conversation about co-existence.

Assumpta Mugiraneza, who will serve as IRIBA CENTER’s director, trained as a social psychologist and political scientist in France. In recent years, she has done extensive work in Rwanda on history, memory and hate speech. Last year, she created a pilot program for screenings and group discussions of MY NEIGHBOR MY KILLER across Rwanda.

It was at these events that we discovered an enormous demand among all segments of the population, and especially the youth, for historical milestones. This was the seed of the idea for IRIBA CENTER.


IRIBA CENTER takes its inspiration from Bophana Center in Cambodia. Bophana was founded in 2007 by renowned filmmaker Rithy Panh, to address similar post-genocide issues. To date, Bophana has gathered over 6,000 documents from foreign and Cambodian institutions and individuals, and has served over 100,000 visitors ranging from academics and journalists to street kids who come to watch films every day. It is also part of an informal international network of like-minded institutions, to which IRIBA CENTER will have access.


To begin with, we will solicit materials from international institutions such as the Tervuren Royal Museum for Central Africa in Belgium or the Institut national de l’audiovisuel in France. We will also search out materials held by private individuals and institutions in Rwanda and the Great Lakes Region of Africa.

In addition, IRIBA CENTER will be the Rwandan home for a unique archive of 350 hours of video footage accumulated over the ten years Anne filmed in Rwanda, covering the reintegration of perpetrators and survivors in a single community, and the three years of local genocide trials held there.  Recognized by scholars internationally as the only such long-term documentation of a post-genocide community, this footage will become part of Rwanda’s historical legacy.


The response to our plans for IRIBA CENTER has been tremendous:

• The French Embassy in Kigali has allocated a building for us—this is raw space that will need refurbishing, but it is large, airy and centrally located;

• Bophana has agreed to grant us a free license to their proprietary data management software, with guidance and support in our initial year;

• Several major international donors have already expressed an interest in contributing to our effort.

So why are we turning to you on Kickstarter? In order to qualify for these resources, we have months of work to do. The $40,000 we hope to raise will help cover costs such as legal, administrative and specialist consulting fees as well as other development expenses and the ability to devote all of our energy and resources to getting the project off the ground.

We are aiming for IRIBA CENTER to open its doors in 2012. To do so, we will need to begin hiring and training core staff as early as our official announcement.

But Kickstarter is an all or nothing funding platform, so if we don’t reach our fixed goal, we’ll lose all of your contributions (which will revert to you)! So, please join us! Help us make IRIBA CENTER a reality by participating what you can and spreading the word far and wide! 

We’ve included a step-by-step guide on how to give on Kickstarter in our Comments section – check it out!

As we say in Rwanda, MURAKOZE CYANE! — Thank you very much!

(For all rewards sent outside the US, France and Rwanda, there is a $10 shipping fee)

Participez à notre campagne Kickstarter!

Rejoignez nous pour monter un projet qui aura un réel impact au Rwanda en rendant l’histoire audiovisuelle du pays accessible à tous les Rwandais : Le CENTRE IRIBA POUR LE PATRIMOINE MULTIMEDIA.

Depuis 1994, tous les Rwandais ont un génocide pour héritage. Leurs efforts de réparation et de construction d’une paix durable ne peuvent faire l’économie d’une découverte, ou d’une re-découverte, de leur histoire commune et de leur identité partagée. C’est là une étape essentielle afin d’aller de l’avant. Notre but est de fournir un accès libre et gratuit à cette histoire – en images et en sons – à tous les Rwandais.

Qui sommes-nous? Anne Aghion travaille au Rwanda depuis plus de dix ans. Elle est la réalisatrice d’une série de quatre films sur les Gacaca, dont MON VOISIN MON TUEUR, qui était en Sélection officielle au Festival de Cannes 2009. Assumpta Mugiraneza, qui va diriger le CENTRE IRIBA, est psychologue sociale et politologue de formation. Nous travaillons ensemble depuis 10 ans.

Le CENTRE IRIBA, dont le nom signifie « la source » en kinyarwanda, regroupera des films, des photographies et des documents audio datant du début de la période coloniale jusqu’à aujourd’hui. Sur place, dans un bâtiment que l’Ambassade de France à Kigali s’est engagée à mettre à notre disposition, nous construirons des postes individuels de visionnage, et créerons des programmes scolaires et de groupe. Nous organiserons également des projections itinérantes sur les collines où vivent la majorité des Rwandais, et notamment les Rwandais les plus démunis.

Presque deux décennies après le génocide, le CENTRE IRIBA regroupera des archives couvrant plus d’un siècle de l’histoire audiovisuelle rwandaise : elles seront collectées auprès de plusieurs sources en Afrique et en Europe et seront mises en accès libre et gratuit au Centre.

Les archives audiovisuelles sont un élément essentiel du patrimoine culturel et historique de tout pays. Toutefois, au Rwanda où peu de gens lisent, et moins d’une génération après le génocide le plus efficace du XXème siècle, ces ressources sont appelées à jouer un rôle crucial pour les générations futures. La connaissance de leur passé sera une condition essentielle de la construction d’un avenir sans conflits.

Pourquoi Kickstarter? Afin que ce projet se réalise nous avons des mois de travail devant nous. C’est pourquoi nous avons recours à une campagne de financement participatif avec comme but de récolter $40 000 afin de pouvoir lancer le projet. Pour chacune de vos contributions, vous recevrez une récompense, dont vous trouverez le détail en français sur notre site www.gacacafilms.com. Mais si nous n’arrivons pas à atteindre notre objectif, nous perdrons toutes vos contributions (elles vous reviendront!), aussi généreuses soient-elles!

Aidez-nous à faire du CENTRE IRIBA une réalité en participant aujourd’hui  et en parlant de notre projet haut et fort à tout votre entourage!

Un guide pas-à-pas sur comment donner sur le site sécurisé de Kickstarter se trouver dans la section « Comments » (commentaires)! Jetez-y un coup d’oeil, c’est très rapide!

Comme on dit en rwandais MURAKOZE CYANE! – Merci beaucoup!

(Frais de port hors de France, des Etats-Unis et du Rwanda : $10.)

Posté par rwandaises.com