Concordia University’s Centre for oral History and Digital Storytelling (COHDS) and the Association des Parents et Amis des Victimes du genocide des Tutsis au Rwanda (Page-Rwanda), representing survivors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide now living in Montréal, are in the process of building an online life stories platform for interviews with 31 survivors. Too often, sharing authority begins and ends with the interview or the field work. We need to consider how to collaborate with originating communities in the development of new tools and platform. The resulting « living archives» will enable people to engage with personal story in new and creative ways. When completed, the platform will offer us different entry-points into the audio-video recordings including a map-interface, the ability to enter the recordings via transcripts as well as an annotation tool that will allow visitors to engage directly with the audio-video content.


The Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling (COHDS), a major research unit of Concordia University, has more than 160 affiliated faculty, graduate students, artists, educators, partner organizations, and community members (including 24 Concordia faculty, 23 faculty from other universities, and 54 graduate students). This diverse community of practice is grounded within oral history, an interdisciplinary field that at its most basic seeks to understand the past through the remembered experiences of those who lived it. The centre comprises a substantial complex of collaborative work spaces, labs, meeting rooms, an interview studio, and interview archive. This research infrastructure has enabled COHDS to take on large-scale projects and to support numerous smaller ones. Established in 2006, COHDS has quickly established itself as one of the leading centres of oral history research and creation in the world.


Montréal’s Rwandan community comes together each April to commemorate the hundreds of thousands of Tutsi who were murdered during the 1994 genocide. It is therefore a month of mourning and of intense emotions. For nearly fifteen years, PAGE RWANDA, formed by the parents and friends of the victims of the genocide now living in Montréal, has organized a commemorative walk to the Sailors’ Memorial Tower on the St. Lawrence River in the Old Port. Formed in the immediate aftermath of the 1994 genocide of Rwandan Tutsi, PAGE RWANDA organizes the annual commemoration and has undertaken extensive educational and memory work as well as research either in partnership with universities or on its own.


  • Steven High
  • Callixte Kabayiza
  • Sebastien Caquard
  • Jean-Paul Nylinkwaya
  • Bernadette Kayrangwa
  • Lisa Ndejuru
  • Chrysanthe Kaysire
  • Monique Mukamo
  • Jacques Rwirangira
  • Emmanuel Habimana
  • Marie Lavorel
  • Antonia Hernandez
  • Emory Shaw
  • Rodolphe Gonzales
  • José Alavez
  • Amoz Ayes
  • Sabine Bergler
  • Lu Xiao



This project would not be possible without the financial support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Concordia University, the Canada Research Chairs Programme and the support of the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling. We would especially like to thank all of the individuals we had the pleasure of interviewing and working throughout this process.