The Rwandese writer Dieudonné Gakire gives the 28th Freedom Lecture. Dieudonné is a survivor of the country’s genocide of 1994; his experiences have prompted him to write inspiring books such as “A Dreaming Child” and “A Gift to the World”.

The Rwandan genocide, also known as the genocide against the Tutsi, was a mass slaughter of Tutsi and moderate Hutu in Rwanda, which took place between 7 April and 4 July 1994 during the Rwandan Civil War. The scale and brutality of the massacre caused shock around the world, though Western nations such as Belgium, France and the U.S decided not to intervene.

On this evening, Dieudonné Gakire shares his personal story with us. By doing so, he strives to meet with different people of different backgrounds in order to inspire and motivate them to learn from his experiences, and through telling his story, impact the lives of many.

Dieudonné Gakire is author and Executive Director of ‘Global Radiant Youth’. It is an organisation he founded, which aims to build a conducive environment for creativity, innovation and lifelong learning for social-economic development among the Rwandan youth, through capacity development and cross-cultural exchange. He is also the vice president of IBUKA Netherlands. His work focuses on justice, memory, supporting genocide survivors and peace-building.

Koert Lindijer is a Dutch correspondent in Africa for NRC Handelsblad and NOS. During the Genocide in 1994 against the Tutsi, Koert was in Rwanda to report and kept visiting the country later on. In 2007 he won the price ‘Journalist van de Vrede’ for his work as a journalist. Koert is also author of four non-fiction books about complex social and political situations in Africa. De vloek van de Nijl and Bittereinders were nominated for the Bob Den Uyl price.

Jörgen UNOM JG (Jörgen Gario), is a caribbean poet and songwriter. He is part of the Poetry Circle Nowhere, a performance poetry collective based in Amsterdam. Combining spoken word and music he explores the energy of melody and poetry. He is performing all over the Netherlands and has also taken the stage in Italy, England, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Tanzania and South Africa. Since may 2019, three of his poems have been published in an anotholgy named ‘Hardop Spoken Word in Nederland’ by publishing house Atlas contact.

Dit programma is gratis toegankelijk voor leden van We Are Public

The freedom lecture

Freedom is something that we in the Netherlands often take for granted. Four times a year, De Balie invites someone who knows from personal experience what it means not to be free. We want to share their stories, spread their message, and learn from their struggle. In the series, De Balie has welcomed freedom fighter like Egyptian writer and activist Nawal el Saadawi, Ugandan LGBT activist Frank Mugisha, Russian journalist Yevgenia Albats, internet activist Esra’a Al Shafei from Bahrain and Patrisse Cullors & Janaya Khan from the Black Lives Matter-movement.

The Freedom Lecture is made possible by Stichting Democratie en Media en vfonds.