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Title: Heritage interpretation of the dead as a tool for peace and reconciliation : the case of visitor development at Rwanda's post-conflict memorialscape
Author: Friedrich, Mona
ISNI:       0000 0004 6058 2567
Awarding Body: University of Central Lancashire
Current Institution: University of Central Lancashire
Date of Award: 2016
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Since the end of the 1994 Genocide, Rwanda has been carrying out an experiment of reconciliation; an enduring process both enabled and complicated by the arrival and increase of local and international tourism to the national genocide memorials. Focusing on a less Western-centric approach towards memory, peace, heritage and (dark) tourism theory this study seeks to establish how the production and consumption of Rwanda’s memorialscape is negotiated and contested. The aim of the research is to reveal wider impacts of such visits by exploring tourists’ motivations, their site encounters and personal contemplations. In addition, memorial location, design and structure will be critically examined. The study embraces a qualitative research approach with complementing methods of participant observation, semi-structured interviews and the distribution of diversity surveys, as well as a diarist account. Fieldwork was carried out over a period of nine months and incorporates elements of ethnographic methodology conducted during Rwanda's 20th annual commemoration period. The latter puts focus on local remembrance culture presented by Rwandans living in the country today, as those directly affected by present-day memorialisation practices. In essence, the thesis demonstrates that the development of national and international tourism at difficult heritage sites can potentially serve as a positive contributor to the symbolic reparations needed by societies recovering from conflict. However, in order for these spaces to fulfil wider educational purposes, graphic sites in particular need to enhance visitor experiences by reassessing site features in terms of contextual change, self-reflexivity, awareness raising and civic engagement.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Democracy