Between fiction and reality in post-genocide Rwanda: Reflections on a social-psychological media intervention for social change

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article reflects on the potential and challenges of implementing social psychological interventions in the aftermath of genocide, specifically focusing on an education entertainment media campaign in Rwanda. The analysis is based on the author’s experience working with a non-governmental organization in producing “Musekeweya”—a very popular violence prevention and reconciliation radio drama. The article highlights the advantages of using fiction as an effective tool to communicate messages about violence and reconciliation, and provide a safe space to address sensitive topics in post-genocide contexts. In addition, it outlines some of the challenges of translating existing knowledge to interventions that promote reconciliation in specific socio-political settings, such as Rwanda, where the government has implemented a series of programs and policies to achieve unity and reconciliation. The paper ends with a discussion of future directions to further increase social and political psychology’s potential to inform effective social interventions in the aftermath of violence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-400
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Social and Political Psychology
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Fingerprint

Genocide
Rwanda
genocide
Social Change
Violence
reconciliation
social change
Psychology
social intervention
violence
Drama
psychological intervention
Radio
entertainment
drama
Organizations
Education
radio
campaign
organization

Keywords

  • Applied social psychology
  • Genocide
  • Media
  • Reconciliation
  • Rwanda
  • Social interventions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

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abstract = "This article reflects on the potential and challenges of implementing social psychological interventions in the aftermath of genocide, specifically focusing on an education entertainment media campaign in Rwanda. The analysis is based on the author’s experience working with a non-governmental organization in producing “Musekeweya”—a very popular violence prevention and reconciliation radio drama. The article highlights the advantages of using fiction as an effective tool to communicate messages about violence and reconciliation, and provide a safe space to address sensitive topics in post-genocide contexts. In addition, it outlines some of the challenges of translating existing knowledge to interventions that promote reconciliation in specific socio-political settings, such as Rwanda, where the government has implemented a series of programs and policies to achieve unity and reconciliation. The paper ends with a discussion of future directions to further increase social and political psychology’s potential to inform effective social interventions in the aftermath of violence.",
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