Do we really understand life after genocide? A reflection on the construction of knowledge in and on Rwanda reveals that it is rife with contradictory assertions and images, and that there is a discrepancy between image and reality. This article attempts to map the center(s) of knowledge construction in postgenocide Rwanda, the place not only where policy is made, but also where knowledge is actively construed, managed, and controlled. It argues that an overall cultivation of the aesthetics of progress and a culturally specific communication code have contributed to an active interference in the scientific construction of knowledge. It stresses the need for scholars and observers to reveal the social and historical context for the knowledge being generated. It also urges them to physically and mentally move away from the center of society: to adopt a bottom-up perspective that captures the voices of ordinary people.


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pp. 41-59
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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