University of Michigan School of Information
Building the Gacaca digital archive
2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
North Quad Space 2435 and online
UMSI welcomes guest speaker Jean-Damascène Gasanabo, PhD, former Director General of the Research and Documentation Center on Genocide at the Rwanda National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG).
After the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, more than 130,000 inmates were imprisoned and accused of genocide crimes. The country was operating through fire and blood! The judicial system was destroyed – judges and lawyers had been killed or exiled in neighboring countries. To judge the genocidaires, the government decided to reintroduce the Traditional Jurisdictions Courts called Gacaca. This talk will emphasize what Gacaca did as a court and how it worked during the trials; the digitization process of the 45 million pages of Gacaca files; and the impact of the Gacaca files on society after the digitization.
Sponsored by the University of Michigan School of Information Data, Archives, and Information Seminar; African Studies Center; Museum Studies Program; Ethics, Society and Computing; and Franklin Innovator Residency Fund.
With a PhD in education from the University of Geneva, I have substantial experience working with the United Nations, international non-governmental organizations, non-profit organizations, and governments on projects related to equitable and sustainable education curricula. As the Director General of the Research and Documentation Center on Genocide at the Rwanda National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG), I managed and led research projects as well as designed, implemented, monitored, and assessed projects related to the Genocide against the Tutsi. Key projects included the digitization of forty-five million pages and four thousand audio-visual materials from Rwanda’s Gacaca Courts, the preservation of textiles at the Nyamata genocide memorial site, the preservation of bodies at the Murambi genocide memorial site, and the preservation of artifacts in six other national genocide memorial sites in Rwanda. Between 2013 and 2015, I also participated in a team responsible for designing Rwanda’s new national education curriculum for history and civic education. I am currently a Consultant with the International Labour Organization (ILO) for their Accelerator Lab 8.7 Program, which provides funding and support to international organizations with innovative solutions to tackle child labor, forced labor, and human trafficking.