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Thank you for Loving Me till the End.

Life, Memory and Reconstruction in Post-Atrocity Bosnia and Rwanda

Living in a world with 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 in Ukraine. He is ready to assemble the best minds and make a “state-of-the-art city center.” Meanwhile, Ghiath al-Jebawi, 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 socio-political issues?

To engage with the future, we must be informed by the recent past. Located far apart from one another, in Africa and Europe, Rwanda and Bosnia witnessed some of the greatest human disasters in our contemporary era: 1994, the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda; 1995, the Srebrenica Genocide in Bosnia. “Thank you for loving me till the end” takes us 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 transformations.

The title of this exhibition is inspired by Immaculee Songa, a woman who lost her husband and two toddlers during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. In 2017, twenty-three years after the genocide, she returned to Rwanda and found the remains of her family in a mass grave. Photographer Jim Lommasson took a photo of her family photo album; Immaculee Songa shared her best memories of her family, and decorated the photo with colorful stickers of flowers. At the bottom of this photo, she wrote, “thank you so much for loving me until your last day. Thank you so much for leaving behind you 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.

* Immaculee Songa’s story is part of the exhibition Stories of Survival: Object. Image. Memory., a project of Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center and photographer Jim Lommasson. The title is an adaptation of what Immaculee Songa had originally written.

◼ Exhibition:

     October 13 - November 5

     Yale School of Architecture, North Gallery

◼ Workshops:

+  Monday Oct 24, 12 pm - 1 pm

     Memorialization Unmoored: Mass Violence and 

     Memory in the Digital Age

     by David Simon,

     at Yale School of Architecture, North Gallery

+  Tuesday Oct 25, 12 pm - 1 pm

     Urban History & Public Space Development of


     by Amatus Ndizeye & Josh Greene,

     at Yale School of Architecture, North Gallery

+ Tuesday Oct 25, 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

    Film Screening with artist: Our Family Garden

     with Smirna Kulenović

     at Yale School of Architecture, Hasting Hall

+ Wednesday Oct 26, 12 pm - 1 pm

    Performing Landscapes of Care

     with Smirna Kulenović

     at Yale School of Architecture, North Gallery


Keller Easterling

David Simon


Christina Chi Zhang

Smirna Kulenovic (Bosnia)

Amatus Ndizeye (Rwanda)


Christina Chi Zhang

Jessica Jie Zhou

Jany Xu

Ilha Niohuru

Ariel Bintang

Paddy Mittag-Mcnaught

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