Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sainte Famille

The Sainte Famille church is located in central Kigali. See your actor packet for details about the role the church played during the genocide.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Rwandan Roads

Like Americans, Rwandans drive on the right side of the road (although not in such neat lanes) with the steering wheel on the left-hand side of the car. There were both packed dirt and paved roads by 1994. But as was mentioned, the roads don't really have any sidewalks, more like ditches. And, while Rwandan roads might not be quite up to the standard that we're used to driving on, both the dirt and paved roads were in relatively good condition.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pronunciation of Names

Visit this cool site to learn, with the help of downloadable mp3 files, how to pronounce the names of historical figures in the play like Habyarimana, Nyerere, Aquino, etc.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Brief Overview of AIDS in Rwanda

In 1983, researchers identified 26 patients in Kigali with AIDS. By 1993, an estimated 9 million adults in sub-Saharan Africa were infected with HIV, with 1.7 million AIDS cases. In Rwanda today, an estimated 11% of the population have HIV or AIDS.

* More information on this subject to be posted as I find it. *

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rwanda: After the Genocide

Taken from BBC's Country Profile Timeline. For their complete timeline, visit

1994-96 - Refugee camps in Zaire fall under the control of the Hutu militias responsible for the genocide in Rwanda.

1995 - UN-appointed international tribunal begins charging and sentencing a number of people responsible for the Hutu-Tutsi atrocities.

2000 March - Rwandan President Pasteur Bizimungu, a Hutu, resigns over differences regarding the composition of a new cabinet and after accusing parliament of targeting Hutu politicians in anti-corruption investigations.

2001 December - A new flag and national anthem are unveiled to try to promote national unity and reconciliation.

2003 May - Voters back a draft constitution which bans the incitement of ethnic hatred.

2003 August - Paul Kagame wins the first presidential elections since the 1994 genocide.

2003 October - First multi-party parliamentary elections; President Kagame's Rwandan Patriotic Front wins absolute majority. EU observers say poll was marred by irregularities and fraud.

2004 March - President Kagame rejects French report which says he ordered 1994 attack on president's plane, which sparked genocide.

2004 June - Former president, Pasteur Bizimungu, is sentenced to 15 years in jail for embezzlement, inciting violence and associating with criminals.

2005 March - Main Hutu rebel group, FDLR, says it is ending its armed struggle. FDLR is one of several groups accused of creating instability in DR Congo; many of its members are accused of taking part in 1994 genocide.

2006 January - Rwanda's 12 provinces are replaced by a smaller number of regions with the aim of creating ethnically-diverse administrative areas.

2006 November - Rwanda breaks off diplomatic ties with France after a French judge issues an international arrest warrant for President Kagame, alleging he was involved in bringing down Habyarimana's plane.

2007 October - Inquiry launched into 1994 presidential plane crash that sparked genocide.

2008 August - Rwanda accuses France of having played an active role in the genocide of 1994, and issues a report naming more than 30 senior French officials. France says the claims are unacceptable.

2008 September - President Paul Kagame's Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) wins large majority in parliamentary elections.

2008 October - Rwanda decides all education will be taught in English instead of French, officially as a result of joining the English-speaking East African Community.

2008 November - Rwanda expels German ambassador and recalls own ambassador in row over detention in Germany of presidential aide Rose Kabuye in connection with the shooting down of President Habyarimana's plane.

2008 December - Theoneste Bagosora sentenced to life imprisonment at UN tribunal for masterminding genocide.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Red Cross in Rwanda

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) first arrived in Rwanda in 1990. The ICRC's work in Rwanda was primarily humanitarian (food, caring for orphans, etc). In early 1994, fearing that the peace process would fail, the ICRC began to stockpile water and medicine. In Switzerland, a medical team was ready to be sent to Kigali if needed. During the genocide, the ICRC was responsible for saving thousands of lives. Since the genocide, the ICRC has worked to heal wounded victims of the genocide, reunite family members, maintain standards at detainee prisons and generally help repair the country.

In terms of relevance to The Overwhelming, what I've drawn from the information is that, because the ICRC was primarily in Kigali to provide humanitarian services, the Rwandan hospital would be responsible for general medical concerns.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Welcome to the dramaturgy blog for Company One's production of The Overwhelming by J. T. Rogers. Come here to learn more about events and ideas discussed in the play. Post any questions in the comment section.