USD Photography Exhibit Commemorates 20th Anniversary of Genocide in Rwanda

As the world marks the 20th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda, the University of San Diego will present a photography exhibit that responds to this humanitarian crisis, a tragedy that led to more than 800,000 deaths. The exhibit takes place from April 24 to June 6 in the Fine Arts Galleries in USD’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice.

Rwanda, 1994-2014: Seven Photographers brings together more than three dozen works by seven award-winning photographers who either were in the country during the months of violence or have visited the nation since then. One of only a few exhibitions of its kind in the world during the remembrance this spring, Rwanda, 1994-2014 is a collaboration between USD’s University Galleries and Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies.

“The exhibition serves both to commemorate the Rwandan genocide and to keep track of its reverberations,” said Derrick Cartwright, director of University Galleries. “It brings together unforgettable images by artists who have long committed themselves to humanitarian causes. Works by MacArthur-prizewinning artists Fazal Sheikh and Alfredo Jaar are shown alongside haunting portraits of both perpetrators and victims of the genocidal violence by Robert Lyons and images of transitional justice as captured by Michal Ronnen Safdie.”

More recent images by Ricardo Gangale, Vanessa Vick and Paige Stoyer document the hope and determination of the Rwandan people to survive and rebuild their lives. “Together, they all contribute to a truly international perspective about Rwanda’s tragic experience and the ongoing challenges to peace that exist within Central Africa,” Cartwright added.

“The exhibition poses the critical question, ‘Never again or until next time?’” said Dustin Sharp, assistant professor in the Kroc School. “Whether ‘never again’ ultimately means anything will depend on how the world comes to understand the events of genocide, including its own failures and complacency.”

The exhibition opens with a reception and panel discussion on April 24, “Preventing Mass Atrocities: Lessons Learned from Rwanda,” with the following speakers:

  • Dida Nibagwire, a Rwandan genocide survivor who is now an actress in Rwanda
  • Daniel Bekele, Executive Director of the Africa Division of Human Rights Watch
  • Philip Lancaster, aide to General Romeo Dallaire in Rwanda during the genocide
  • Paige Stoyer, a photographer who has been working in Rwanda with Global Press Institute to train women journalists
  • Eugene Gatari, a USD alumnus of the master’s program in peace and justice Studies from Rwanda, now a fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School for Public Policy

The panel discussion will include a welcome from Mary Lyons, PhD, University of San Diego president, and will be moderated by Dustin Sharp, JD, assistant professor at the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies. Registration is requested.

All events are free and open to the public.

“Preventing Mass Atrocities: Lessons Learned from Rwanda”
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Reception and gallery tour: 5 - 6:30 p.m., Fine Art Galleries
Panel discussion: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., Peace & Justice Theatre
Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Theatre and Fine Art Galleries, University of San Diego
(619) 260-7618 and

“Rwanda, 1994 – 2014: Seven Photographers”
April 24 through June 6
Monday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m.
Thursday, noon to 6 p.m.
Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Fine Art Galleries, University of San Diego
(619) 260-7516 or

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university's eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.


Denise Ward
(619) 260-4659