About

Funded by Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, this bilingual online life stories platform is built by 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. Over eighty life story interviews were conducted by the Rwandan Working Group (led by Page-Rwanda) of Montreal Life Stories, twenty-eight of whom gave their permission to include their life stories here. Working in partnership, we sought to build a platform and suite of tools that would serve university researchers and community members. The resulting « living archives » enable you to engage with personal story in new and creative ways. The interview transcript is tethered to the video, allowing you to simply listen or conduct keyword searches and then enter into the recorded story. Otherwise much is lost in transcription. Thanks to the Geomedia Lab, there is also a narrative mapping tool that allows you to enter these stories using a map interface. And, finally, thanks to our partnership with the University of Western Ontario and Syracuse University, there is a “tension analysis” tool that allows us to analyse the interview dynamic itself. To access the English subtitles please press the button in the lower right corner of the video monitor once the video is playing.

COHDS

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.

PAGE RWANDA

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.

Team

  • Steven High
    Professor of History, Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling, Concordia University
  • Callixte Kabayiza
    Former President of PAGE RWANDA
  • Sébastien Caquard
    Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Planning and Environment, Concordia University
  • Jean-Paul Nylinkwaya
    President of PAGE RWANDA
  • Bernadette Kayrangwa
    Member of PAGE RWANDA
  • Lisa Ndejuru
    Member of PAGE RWANDA

Contact

steven.high@concordia.ca

 

  • Chrysanthe Kaysire
    Member of PAGE RWANDA
  • Monique Mukamo
    Member of PAGE RWANDA
  • Jacques Rwirangira
    Member of PAGE RWANDA
  • Emmanuel Habimana
    Professor, Université du Québec à Trois Rivières
  • Marie Lavorel
    Digital platform designer and coordinator
    Postdoctoral horizon fellowship (2018-2019), Concordia University

 

  • Antonia Hernandez
    MAT3RIAL
  • Emory Shaw
    Research Assistant, Geomedialab
  • Rodolphe Gonzales
    Postdoctoral Horizon Fellow (2017-2018), Concordia University
  • José Alavez
    Research Assistant, Geomedialab
  • Sabine Bergler
    Professor, Computer Sciences and Software Engineering, Concordia University

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.