International Educator - November/December 2016 - 24

Angel Uwamahoro

A

Healing Wounds of the Rwandan Genocide Through Performance

S A CHILD, Angel Uwamahoro
didn't even realize she was
Rwandan. Now she works to
bring healing to her homeland, which was
decimated by one of the worst genocides of
the twentieth century.
With ethnic tensions simmering in
Rwanda in 1990, Uwamahoro's mother
moved with Angel, who was just a baby, to
neighboring Uganda. After seven years living there as refugees, the pair moved to Los
Angeles so her mother could continue her
education in the United States.
When her mother decided to return to
Rwanda in 2002, Uwamahoro wasn't sure
what to think. "My mom had to explain what
I was. At first I thought I was Ugandan-then
I thought I was American."
Since moving back to Rwanda, she's had
a major role to play in educating people
about the Rwandan experience.
Although she's only 25 years old, Uwamahoro is an accomplished actress, and

24  

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR N O V + D E C .16

she's used her acting skills both in Africa
and abroad to teach people about genocide
in Rwanda, which left an estimated Tutsis
and moderate Hutus dead, as well as the
present-day hopefulness in the country.
Through acting, "it made me realize I had a
role to play in sharing our (Rwandans') story,"
says Uwamahoro, who is in her senior year at
Fordham University in New York, where she
majors in theater and performing arts.
Uwamahoro says she has always been interested in acting, and while she was growing up she took part in numerous school
performances and talent shows.
In 2005 she was invited to join Mashirika,
a well-known Rwandan theater company,
which was established in 1997 by a group of
Rwandan refugees living in Uganda. The following year the troupe moved to Rwanda.
With Mashirika, Uwamahoro has been
part of the cast of the play Africa's Hope,
which tells the stories of survivors of Rwanda's genocide. The play has been performed

BY SUSAN LADIKA

in Africa, the United States and Europe.
Although Uwamahoro and most of
her family were living in Uganda when the
genocide occurred, she lost several extended
family members in the killing. In Africa's Hope
she plays the role of a girl who saw her baby
brother killed by a man wielding a machete.
Because she had lived outside of
Rwanda at the time of the killings, the play
has helped her gain perspective on what her
countrymen and women suffered through.
After their performances in Rwanda, the
cast will hear comments such as "thank you
for telling the truth" and "thank you for telling our stories," she says.
Along with serving as a tool to help
educate audiences about the genocide, the
overarching focus of the play is "the process
of forgiving and moving forward," she says.
For older Rwandans who attend a theater
performance, "they are able to escape. Escape for them is going into a different world
in a safe environment," Uwamahoro says.

COURTESY OF TAVIA LA FOLLETTE

"I hope will just open up the doors
discrimination in Ecuador and their
to their own imagination of what's
own personal identity struggles in the
possible for them to do," La Follette
United States.
says of the program. "A lot of the time
"There are tons of different ways
we think in small ways and we don't
to be connected in a hyperconnected
need to. There's a whole world out
world. It's something we have to opt
there of things we can do. Just getting
out of now rather than something
out of the country, no matter where
we opt into," Kridlo says. "There is so
you're going, gives any student a more
much room to explore the world as
objective view on life. Going to the
a whole. Some things never make it
other side of the planet gives them
into the mainstream and some things
Tavia La Follette
even more perspective."
get subverted because they're under
La Follette notes that the United
the thumb of social control, but
we have an opportunity to have a greater global focus. States, which recently marked the fiftieth anniversary of
the Civil Rights Act, and South Africa, which ended apartWhether we take stock of it or not, it's always there."
heid 30 years later, share common political issues today.
"Immigration is a huge issue in South Africa," she says,
Learning About Civil Rights
"and we will be discussing and talking about that as it rein South Africa
Tavia La Follette, a theater professor at Towson University lates to civil rights and civil wrongs. The biggest piece is
in Maryland, will lead students on a study abroad course to get our students to look at what we've done wrong and
to South Africa in January 2017 to look at how culture and what we've done right. Are we looking to the past and
the arts can be a reflective tool for society. Titled "Civil applying it to the present?"
This is the first study abroad project for La Follette,
Rights and Civil Wrongs," the students will meet with
artists and activists, work with township children in an who moved to Baltimore last year after spending more
arts-based program, and visit Market Theatre, which was
dubbed the "theatre of struggle" during apartheid.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - November/December 2016

From the Editor
In Brief
Voices
Act Globally
Tradition and History
Health and Insurance
Education Abroad
International Enrollment
View From Out Here
In Focus
International Educator - November/December 2016 - Cover1
International Educator - November/December 2016 - Cover2
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 1
International Educator - November/December 2016 - From the Editor
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 3
International Educator - November/December 2016 - In Brief
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 5
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 6
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 7
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 8
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 9
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 10
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 11
International Educator - November/December 2016 - Voices
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 13
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 14
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 15
International Educator - November/December 2016 - Act Globally
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 17
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 18
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 19
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 20
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 21
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 22
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 23
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 24
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 25
International Educator - November/December 2016 - Tradition and History
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 27
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 28
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 29
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 30
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 31
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 32
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 33
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 34
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 35
International Educator - November/December 2016 - Health and Insurance
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 37
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 38
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 39
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 40
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 41
International Educator - November/December 2016 - Education Abroad
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 43
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 44
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 45
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 46
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 47
International Educator - November/December 2016 - International Enrollment
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 49
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 50
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 51
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 52
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 53
International Educator - November/December 2016 - View From Out Here
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 55
International Educator - November/December 2016 - In Focus
International Educator - November/December 2016 - Cover3
International Educator - November/December 2016 - Cover4
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