Focus on: Rwanda

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Rwanda is full of positive signs of growth and repair.

Rwanda is an exemplar of regeneration and repair after tragedy. Just over 20 years after the political turmoil and genocide that cleaved the country in two, its people have picked themselves up and found numerous creative solutions to their problems and outlets to express their experience. We round up some stories from our archives that look at initiatives in urban design, education, architecture, film and branding – all positive signs of a country back from the brink.

Telling stories on screen

Twenty years ago, all cameras were on Rwanda as it descended into chaos. Now Rwandans themselves are behind the camera telling their own stories as the country’s nascent film industry grows.

Building for children’s needs

Tomà Berlanda, an Italian architect based in Rwanda, is helping to pioneer a new model for early childhood development centres being built in Rwanda. Berlanda and his team are actively engaged in developing the Department of Architecture at the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology, now part of the University of Rwanda.

Reflecting on the genocide

Ntarama Church, where 5 000 Tutsis were murdered, has stood untouched since 1994. Now an architect is helping to preserve its legacy in a sensitively designed welcome centre and memorial.

Revitalising the vernacular

George Pericles Creative Think-Tank, founded by French architects Anaïs Legrand and Guillaume Sardin, have proposed a visual identity for Rwanda's provincial government that uses a simplified system of traditional symbols. The small studio has also designed a low-cost housing project that draws its inspiration from the Rwandan vernacular.

Anticipating urban growth

Kigali’s city planners have devised an ambitious plan to transform this quaint capital city into a regional powerhouse. They are racing against the clock. But will locals buy into it?

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