Rwandan Genocide Exhibit Displayed in Congress

A collaborative art installation commemorating the Rwandan Genocide was on display in the Rayburn Foyer at the House of Representatives on Dec. 2. U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) was instrumental in bringing the exhibit—titled “100 Days of Silence”—to Washington, and greeted and escorted fellow House members and other visitors around the exhibit.

(L-R) Mimi Werbler, Nancy Rubinstein, Cinde Orlick, Rep. Chris Smith, Dale Daniels, Arlene Smelson, and Susan Yellin
(L-R) Mimi Werbler, Nancy Rubinstein, Cinde Orlick, Rep. Chris Smith, Dale Daniels, Arlene Smelson, and Susan Yellin

The exhibit originally opened in April, with more than 160 life-sized human forms, at the Center for Holocaust, Human Rights, and Genocide Education at Brookdale Community College (Chhange) to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide.

(L-R) Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Dale Daniels (executive director, CHHANGE), Howard Dorman (president, CHHANGE Board), and Rep. Chaka Fatta (D-Pa.)
(L-R) Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Dale Daniels (executive director, Chhange), Howard Dorman (president, Chhange Board), and Rep. Chaka Fatta (D-Pa.)

Its title corresponds with the 100 days in 1994 when some 800,000 Rwandan men, women, and children were killed by Hutu extremists. It is a reference to the failure of the global community to intervene.

The forms, made of foam and designed by area middle and high school students, are part of a collaborative effort to learn about and respond creatively to the tragedy.

“The exhibit is a chance for students, educators, and community members to reflect upon the human experience of the Rwandan people and the silence of the world,” said Dale Daniels, the executive director of Chhange. “It is a powerful statement from our children and our community about genocide and humanity.”

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