Art from Trauma


Art from Trauma

Genocide and Healing beyond Rwanda

Edited and with an introduction by Rangira Béa Gallimore and Gerise Herndon

282 pages
1 photograph, 3 illustrations, index


August 2019


$45.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

August 2019


$45.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

August 2019


$45.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

What is the role of aesthetic expression in responding to discrimination, tragedy, violence, even genocide? How does gender shape responses to both literal and structural violence, including implicit linguistic, familial, and cultural violence? How might writing or other works of art contribute to healing? Art from Trauma: Genocide and Healing beyond Rwanda explores the possibility of art as therapeutic, capable of implementation by mental health practitioners crafting mental health policy in Rwanda.

This anthology of scholarly, personal, and hybrid essays was inspired by scholar and activist Chantal Kalisa (1965–2015). At the commemoration of the nineteenth anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda, organized by the Rwandan Embassy in Washington DC, Kalisa gave a presentation, “Who Speaks for the Survivors of the Genocide against Tutsi?” Kalisa devoted her energy to giving expression to those whose voices had been distorted or silenced. The essays in this anthology address how the production and experience of visual, dramatic, cinematic, and musical arts, in addition to literary arts, contribute to healing from the trauma of mass violence, offering preliminary responses to questions like Kalisa’s and honoring her by continuing the dialogue in which she participated with such passion, sharing the work of scholars and colleagues in genocide studies, gender studies, and francophone literatures.

Author Bio

Rangira Béa Gallimore is an associate professor emerita of French at the University of Missouri. She is the coeditor of a book in French on the Rwandan genocide. Gerise Herndon is a professor of English and chair of gender studies at Nebraska Wesleyan University. She is coeditor, with Sarah Barbour, of Emerging Perspectives on Maryse Condé: A Writer of Her Own.


“I recommend that everyone read this fascinating book. In remembering professor Chantal Kalisa, the contributors of Art from Trauma bring hope for the future to victims coping with traumatic experiences of extreme violence or genocide. Providing victims a platform for sharing memories and experiences is one way of mourning and may lead to healing.”—Edouard Kayihura, author of Inside the Hotel Rwanda: The Surprising True Story and Why It Matters Today

“This astute biographical, methodological, and theoretical book presents Chantal Kalisa as a figure both of history and of memory—of history in relating her life to her career in order to highlight compelling narratives on scholarship, activism, and responsibility; and of memory in extending her powerful interpretive works into other forays. . . . The hatred and violence that Kalisa observed in francophone Africa is replaced in this significant book with hope, along with the enduring capacity to reimagine a better future.”—Toyin Falola, Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities at the University of Texas at Austin

Art from Trauma is an expansive narrative about violence and trauma as well as a courageous and insightful inquiry into various forms of traumatic events and the healing power of different forms of art. Featuring scholars from various and multidisciplinary perspectives, it is also a work of memory and mourning that challenges the unspeakable through the power of language and art in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.”—Aimable Twagilimana, professor of English and Fulbright Scholar, SUNY Buffalo State

“A deeply rich and inspiring volume, this book offers a worthy tribute to Chantal Kalisa’s important work and responds to the pressing need for creativity in the processes of remembrance, justice, and reconciliation in Rwanda and beyond.”—Catherine Gilbert, author of From Surviving to Living: Voice, Trauma, and Witness in Rwandan Women’s Writing

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations    
Foreword, by Patricia A. Simpson    
Introduction, by Rangira Béa Gallimore and Gerise Herndon    

Part I. In Memoriam: Lessons Learned from Chantal Kalisa
1. Baby Steps    
Margaret Jacobs
2. Speaking Nearby Genocide    
Gerise Herndon
3. Chantal’s Voice: A Guiding Light    
Natalia Ledford
4. Bittersweet Realities: Field Research, Human Rights, and Questioning Intentions    
Laura Roost and Ryan Lowry, with Patrice McMahon
5. Memory, Language, and Healing    
Isabel Velázquez

Part II. Performing Arts and Healing from the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda
6. Theater and the Rwandan Genocide    
Chantal Kalisa
7. Ingoma Nshya: Forbidden Fruit Brings Healing and Empowerment to Rwandan Female Drummers    
Rangira Béa Gallimore

Part III. Visualizing Violence, Silence, and Trauma
8. The Films of Kivu Ruhorahoza: Staging a New Sense of Direction?    
Odile Cazenave and Patricia-Pia Célérier
9. Héla Ammar: Art and Beyond    
Anna Rocca
10. Filming with Orphans of the Genocide: A Transformative Dialogue through a Double-Lens Approach    
Alexandre Dauge-Roth
11. Art for Teaching and Art for Surviving: From the Holocaust to Healing    
Eileen M. Angelini and Heather E. Connell

Part IV. Narrating Atrocities and Dealing with Trauma
12. Gender-Based Violence in Monique Ilboudo’s Fiction        
Nicki Hitchcott
13. Narrating Itsembabwoko and the Quest for Empathy    
Josias Semujanga
14. “Lay Down Body, Lay Down”: Mitigating Transgenerational Trauma through Spirituality in Jewell Parker Rhodes’s Magic City    
Kalenda Eaton

Part V. Scripting Self and Healing in Women’s Narratives
15. Womenʼs Friendship in Exile: Healing in the Epistolary Correspondence between Zenobia Camprubí and Pilar de Zubiaurre    
Iker González-Allende
16. Preserving Memories, Celebrating Lives: War, Motherhood, and Grief in Scholastique Mukasonga’s La femme aux pieds nus    
Marzia Caporale

List of Contributors