Thank you for loving me till the end.
Opening Date: October 13, Thursday Workshops during the opening week.
Living in a world with so much ongoing violence and destruction, we are inevitably entering a new round of discussion about post-war reconstruction. Five months ago, Norman Foster made a manifesto about rebuilding the city of Kharkiv, Ukraine. He is ready to assemble the best minds and make a “state-of-the-art city center.” Meanwhile, Ghiath al-Jebawi, a Syrian urbanist and architect, has been arguing that reconstruction needs to stem from small-scale, locally driven, context-sensitive interventions. Whichever side we take, are we, the future builders of post-atrocity cities, ready to engage with these difficult socio-political issues?
To engage with the future, we must be informed by the recent past. Located far apart in Europe and Africa, Bosnia and Rwanda came together for their shared trauma from the same era: 1994, the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda; 1995, the contested Srebrenica Genocide in Bosnia. “Thank you for loving me till the end.”creates a winding journey that takes one through the aftermath and recovery of Bosnia and Rwanda, with topics ranging from personal stories to official histories, from bullet holes in walls to large-scale urban transformation.
The title of this exhibition comes from Immaculee Mukantaganira, a woman who lost her husband and two toddlers during the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda. In 2017, twenty-three years after the genocide, she went back to Rwanda to look for the remains of her family. In a mass grave, she recognized the dress her daughter wore during the last moment of her life. She took a photo of her daughter’s bloodstained dress, decorated the photo with colorful stickers, flower pedals and hand-sketched hearts. On the bottom of the photo, she writes, “thank you for loving me until the end. Thank you for leaving behind a legacy of love.”
This is what this exhibition is about. It is about violence, destruction, and the incomprehensibility of mass atrocities. More importantly, it is about the fragility of life, the beauty of love, the resilience of survivors, about living and healing – about what we share as human beings.