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Death Image Memory
The Genocide in Rwanda and its Aftermath in Photography and Documentary Film

Death Image Memory explores how photography and documentary film have participated in the representation of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi and its aftermath. This in-depth analysis of professional and amateur photography and the work of Rwandan and international filmmakers offers an insight into not only the unique ability of images to engage with death, memory and the need for evidence, but also their helplessness and inadequacy when confronted with the enormity of the event. 


Focusing on a range of films and photographs, the book tests notions of truth, evidence, record and witnessing – so often associated with documentary practice – in the specific context of Rwanda and the wider representational framework of African conflict and suffering. Death Image Memory is an inquiry into the multiple memorial and evidentiary functions of images that transcends the usual investigations into whether photography and documentary film can reliably attest to the occurrence and truth of an event.

Death Image Memory was published by Palgrave MacMillan in 2017 and can be purchased here.

"Elegantly yet accessibly written, Death, Image, Memory is an absolutely vital contribution to many fields of intellectual inquiry, including visual culture and film studies, trauma and genocide studies, and African Studies. What makes the book stand out is its detailed and respectful attention both to texts and contexts, which means that – to the extent that any “justice” can be done in relation to an event such as the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi – it attempts to do justice to the people affected by trauma and not only to the images themselves."


Professor Lindiwe Dovey, SOAS, University of London

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