The AMAHORO Generation

the youth of Rwanda talk peace

Orphan at the age of 1 month when both her parents were butchered during the genocide, Miraculously Germaine Mukagasana survived because a neighbor rescued her. She recentlyattended a beauty school sponsored by International Alert but now finds it difficult to secure employment because she does not have the funds for an internship, a common custom for graduates.  Perched on her bed tented by mosquito netting she shines with optimism. She said: “Peace means happiness” Kimironko, Rwanda, May 26, 2014. Photo: Carol Allen-Storey

Orphan at the age of 1 month when both her parents were butchered during the genocide, Miraculously Germaine Mukagasana survived because a neighbor rescued her. She recentlyattended a beauty school sponsored by International Alert but now finds it difficult to secure employment because she does not have the funds for an internship, a common custom for graduates. Perched on her bed tented by mosquito netting she shines with optimism. She said: “Peace means happiness” Kimironko, Rwanda, May 26, 2014. Photo: Carol Allen-Storey

Savagery took over the mind, they went out hunting as kindred spirits, they became a ferocious barbaric species. They were the Interahamwe, the infamous killers of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. They were also the youth of the nation.

The Ntarama Church is the site where some of the most brutal killings of the 1994 Rwandan genocide took place. The church at Ntarama was seen as a safe place by almost 5000 people, many of whom were women and children and who went there for sanctuary. But Ntarama was not a safe place. The victims of the genocide remain there, their bones still strewn with lifeless chaos where they fell over 20 years ago. Their belongings cover the floor; clothes, suitcases, a child's white sock - the last remnants of a desperate flight for life. Ntarama Memorial Church, Ntarama, Rwanda,  June 1, 2014. Photo: Carol Allen-Storey.

The Ntarama Church is the site where some of the most brutal killings of the 1994 Rwandan genocide took place. The church at Ntarama was seen as a safe place by almost 5000 people, many of whom were women and children and who went there for sanctuary. But Ntarama was not a safe place. The victims of the genocide remain there, their bones still strewn with lifeless chaos where they fell over 20 years ago. Their belongings cover the floor; clothes, suitcases, a child’s white sock – the last remnants of a desperate flight for life. Ntarama Memorial Church, Ntarama, Rwanda, June 1, 2014. Photo: Carol Allen-Storey.

Two decades on victim and perpetrator are still coping with the aftermath of the 100 days the world chose to ignore.

Portrait of Jeanne Unutomi, student at the STAR Secondary School, 20 years old, defining Amahoro, Peace. Masaka, Rwanda, June 6, 2014. Photo: Carol Allen-Storey.

Portrait of Jeanne Unutomi, student at the STAR Secondary School, 20 years old, defining Amahoro, Peace. Masaka, Rwanda, June 6, 2014. Photo: Carol Allen-Storey.

Born during the genocide era, Rwandan’s youth speak of their aspirations, their hope for peace in the aftermath of a brutal war that fractured their nation. They are the generation that wants to be acknowledged as Rwandese, united in purpose, eliminating historical tribal labels of Hutu and Tutsi. They want their legacy to be known as the Amahoro generation, the peace brokers; where the youth of their parent’s generation were the brutal warriors.

The Kigali School in Nyanga, a remote region in Rwanda was formed less than a year ago and boasts more than 50 members. Gathered together the students dialogue about the causes of the genocide,and the importance of creating a mind-set of being a united nation, not a divided tribe which fueled the hatred between Hutu and Tutsi. There were many definitions of peace but a universal theme stated was: “Peace means respect”. Nyange, Rwanda, May 29 2014. Photo: Carol Allen Storey.

The Kigali School in Nyanga, a remote region in Rwanda was formed less than a year ago and boasts more than 50 members. Gathered together the students dialogue about the causes of the genocide,and the importance of creating a mind-set of being a united nation, not a divided tribe which fueled the hatred between Hutu and Tutsi. There were many definitions of peace but a universal theme stated was: “Peace means respect”. Nyange, Rwanda, May 29 2014. Photo: Carol Allen Storey.

Amahoro, means peace; it is the youth’s anchor to pursue their destiny.

To mark the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide and to coincide with the UN International Day of Peace on 21 September, International Alert present The Amahoro Generation: The youth of Rwanda talk peace.

The exhibition, by award-winning photojournalist Carol Allen-Storey, documents the stories of young people born amid the horrors of the Rwandan genocide, and their hopes for ‘amahoro’ – peace. It is an ideal rooted in the wisdom that without peace, there is no future. “Peace unifies,” says Angelique, aged 21 from Gatumba. “Without peace, people remain divided.”

The Amahoro Generation by Carol Allen Storey for International Alert. The outdoor exhibition is at the Bernie Spain Gardens, Riverside Walksway (by Oxo Tower Wharf), South Bank, London. September 18, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The Amahoro Generation by Carol Allen Storey for International Alert. The outdoor exhibition is at the Bernie Spain Gardens, Riverside Walksway (by Oxo Tower Wharf), South Bank, London. September 18, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The Amahoro Generation by Carol Allen Storey (pictured) for International Alert. The outdoor exhibition is at the Bernie Spain Gardens, Riverside Walksway (by Oxo Tower Wharf), South Bank, London. September 18, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The Amahoro Generation by Carol Allen Storey (pictured) for International Alert. The outdoor exhibition is at the Bernie Spain Gardens, Riverside Walksway (by Oxo Tower Wharf), South Bank, London. September 18, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

“I was struck by the collective view of these young people that they must ensure there is never another genocide – and to do so, learn to forgive and fuel their energy into building a united and prosperous country,” says photographer Carol Allen-Storey.

Dan Smith, Secretary General of International Alert  and Carol Allen Storey. The Amahoro Generation by Carol Allen Storey for International Alert. The outdoor exhibition is at the Bernie Spain Gardens, Riverside Walksway (by Oxo Tower Wharf), South Bank, London. September 18, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Dan Smith, Secretary General of International Alert and Carol Allen Storey. The Amahoro Generation by Carol Allen Storey for International Alert. The outdoor exhibition is at the Bernie Spain Gardens, Riverside Walksway (by Oxo Tower Wharf), South Bank, London. September 18, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The outdoor exhibition, “The Amahoro Generation”, is on display from the 18th of September to the 2nd of October 2014 (now extended to the 2nd of November 2014; see addendum below) on the South Bank in London at The Bernie Spain Gardens, Riverside Walkway (by Oxo Tower Wharf), South Bank, London SE1 9PP and is free to attend.

Addendum: Some fantastic news; the Amahoro exhibition has been extended for anther 4 weeks. The South Bank have said that responses have been phenomanal and they requested an extended run. The exhibition has been moved in the court yard between OXO Tower and the Barge House and is on until the 2nd of November 2014.

Earlier this year, Carol spent a month in Rwanda, travelling across the country with her Canon 5D MkII cameras documenting the commemoration and interviewing the youth. The exhibition was printed by built by Standard8, designed by Stuart Smith and post produced by Edmond Terakopian.

The Amahoro Generation by Carol Allen Storey for International Alert. The outdoor exhibition is at the Bernie Spain Gardens, Riverside Walksway (by Oxo Tower Wharf), South Bank, London. September 18, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The Amahoro Generation by Carol Allen Storey for International Alert. The outdoor exhibition is at the Bernie Spain Gardens, Riverside Walksway (by Oxo Tower Wharf), South Bank, London. September 18, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The Amahoro Generation by Carol Allen Storey for International Alert. The outdoor exhibition is at the Bernie Spain Gardens, Riverside Walksway (by Oxo Tower Wharf), South Bank, London. September 18, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The Amahoro Generation by Carol Allen Storey for International Alert. The outdoor exhibition is at the Bernie Spain Gardens, Riverside Walksway (by Oxo Tower Wharf), South Bank, London. September 18, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

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