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Love in a time of reconcilliation
July 8, 2007 8:36 PM   Subscribe

Musekeweya ("new dawn") is a phenomenally popular radio drama broadcast out of Kigali, Rwanda. The soap, funded by Dutch NGO La Benevolencija, follows the story of two star-crossed lovers who come from opposing villages involved in an increasingly violent struggle. Thought Rwandan law makes it difficult to discuss the genocide in the media, the show aims to open a dialog using the fictional villages of Bumanzi and Muhumuro as a proxy for Hutus and Tutsis. A soap opera may seem like an unlikely vehicle to tackle a topic of such national importance, but it's actually not uncommon. And, certainly, Rwanda is a country that knows all too well about the power of radio
posted by meta_eli (8 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
I heard the On The Media piece just a couple hours ago. Very cool story. Thanks for the additional links.
posted by the christopher hundreds at 8:39 PM on July 8, 2007


Great post. I downloaded the On the Media piece and am looking forward to listening to it. What an interesting idea, using soap operas to raise awareness of social issues--the other two examples were fascinating also.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:28 PM on July 8, 2007


Awesome post. Thanks.
posted by mediareport at 9:45 PM on July 8, 2007


Another "awesome" for me, and another case study on how sometimes the best posts recieve the fewest comments....
posted by jokeefe at 6:44 AM on July 9, 2007


The whole thing also reminds me of the international versions of Sesame Street. They use muppet characters to discuss AIDS in Africa, or peace in Middle East. There was a great, uplifting documentary about it last year.
posted by meta_eli at 6:44 AM on July 9, 2007


Though Rwandan law makes it difficult to discuss the genocide in the media . . .

Do you have a further link for this? This seems counterintuitive (to my western self, at least). It seems like you'd want to get it all out into the open, work through it. Perhaps the massacres are still too soon to deal too publicly with it, though.

Following a link in the first link leads to this. These reconciliation meetings give me so much hope.
posted by John of Michigan at 7:17 AM on July 9, 2007


This is really interesting. Fantastic!!

Over the weekend I saw a French documentary on Southwest Africa and a segment addressed a hugely popular soap opera that has had a huge impact on opening the population to confronting AIDS.
posted by pwedza at 9:59 AM on July 9, 2007


It seems like you'd want to get it all out into the open, work through it. Perhaps the massacres are still too soon to deal too publicly with it, though.

Well, recall that Rwanda is a unqiue case -- the media (namely the Hutu radio station RTLM) played a significant role in the genocide. Western rights groups have an awfully hard time arguing for openness in the face of such a stark counter-example.

Here's the President of Radio 10 Rwanda speaking in 2004: "Let me assure the people of Rwanda that after the sad events of 1994, with the infamous RTLM, that any risk of losing control will be restricted by the law and the media law. History will never repeat itself."

The Boston Globe has a good article critical of the limits on press freedom in the country.
posted by meta_eli at 10:08 AM on July 9, 2007


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