de Beer 2015 Shadows

Title Information

Author: Anna-Marie de Beer and Elisabeth Snyman

Title: Shadows of life, death and survival in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide

Subtitle: -

Journal: Tydskrif vir Letterkunde

Volume: 52

Issue: 1

Year: 2015

Pages: 113-130

ISSN: 0041-476X – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century | Rwandan History | Representations: Literature / Monique Ilboudo, Véronique Tadjo Types: Genocidal Rape / Rwandan Genocide

Full Text

Link: Tydskrif vir Letterkunde (Free Access)

Additional Information


Anna-Marie de Beer, Department of Modern European Languages, University of

Elisabeth Snyman, School of Languages, North-West University

Abstract: »Various writers and survivors have offered literary responses to the genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda. In 1998, a group of African intellectuals, mostly non-Rwandans, of whom two were female authors, participated in a collective writing project, Rwanda: écrire par devoir de mémoire, tasked to tell the story of the genocide. Genocide survivor, sociologist and psychotherapist, Esther Mujawayo, has since narrated her own story. Although critics have explored the portrayal of trauma in literature in other texts and contexts, a comparative study between these three texts of female authors; one survivor and two intellectuals, focusing on the experience of female survivors and in particular that of being raped has not yet been conducted. This article examines how trauma is made visible to the reader by exploring the characteristics of the ‘death experience’ and their mediated form, as offered by the three authors. This comparative study furthermore highlights the elements in the lives of survivors which influence their ability to move from a position of mere survival to that of embracing life after the genocide.« (Source: Tydskrif vir Letterkunde)


  Trauma, memory and death (p. 114)
  'Remaking' the self (p. 116)
  Murekatete: a narrative of death (p. 118)
  Tadjo: Shadows of life and death (p. 121)
  SurVivantes: a life (self)-affirming testimony (p. 123)
  On life and survival (p. 125)
  Conclusion (p. 127)
  Notes (p. 128)
  Works cited (p. 129)

Wikipedia: Genocidal rape: Rape during the Rwandan Genocide, Rwandan Genocide

Added: March 7, 2015 – Last updated: March 7, 2015