English and Film Studies
This article explores the literary representation of the genocide in Rwanda, and by extension, that of the Franco-African imaginary. Since the horrific events in 1994, “Rwanda” has become a discursive epiphenomenon, be it in global human rights, African or francophone contexts. Literary works about itsembabwoko, mostly published in France, now represent both a varied and a substantial corpus in Francophone literature. Problematically, however, France played a critical, if not insidious, role in the 1994 Tutsi genocide. This paper therefore examines to what extent Francophone literature about Rwanda is shaped by French politics. Specifically, it contrasts Franco-African texts produced as part of the E ´ crire par devoir de me´moire initiative with novels by first-time Rwandan authors Joseph Ndwaniye, Aime´ Yann Mbabazi and Gilbert Gatore´. It investigates how these diverse texts represent Rwanda post-genocide, and in so doing, how they work to reflect or resist circulating cultural discourses about African francophonie.
Madelaine Hron, Itsembabwoko “à la française”? – Rwanda, Fiction and the Franco-African Imaginary, Forum for Modern Language Studies, Volume 45, Issue 2, April 2009, Pages 162–175, https://doi.org/10.1093/fmls/cqp008