Monday, February 3, 2014

Patrick Mureithi visits UT Tyler

On Wednesday, January 29th, the UT Tyler Honors and GATE programs were pleased to welcome filmmaker and documentarian Patrick Mureithi to present his documentary “ICYIZERE:hope.” 

Mureithi is a Kenyan documentary filmmaker who has worked to educate the world about atrocities such as the Rwandan Genocide, and the reconciliation process that thousands still go through to this very day.  He began his presentation by discussing his teenage life while living in Kenya, a country very close to Rwanda. He remembers when he was 17 hearing about the OJ Simpson Trial, Kurt Cobain’s suicide, and the success of Snoop Dogg in 1994, yet he heard nothing of the beginning of the Rwandan Genocide.  He uses this story to highlight the ignorance the world had regarding this tragedy.  Mureithi’s work is to increase the awareness of the events, along with the current day healing process.

ICYIZERE (pronounced ee-cheez-eh-reh) is a documentary that shows the reconciliation process of both survivors and perpetrators of the Rwandan Genocide.  It centers on the reconciliation workshops from the African Great Lakes Initiative of the Friends Peace Teams, a group that holds three day workshops which include 10 people from one side of a conflict together with 10 people from the other side to restore normal relationships between the two sides. Through addressing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and conducting a series of group exercises that help to build trust, the workshops bring participants to the realization that:

·  “They are more similar than different”
·  “They are all, victim and aggressor, suffering from trauma.”
·  “The most effective way to overcome their trauma is by making an effort to forgive each other     and work toward rebuilding trust within their communities”

Mureithi’s film has been shown in Brazil, the United Kingdom, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and on college campuses all over the United States.  For more information on the reconciliation workshop, visit the African Great Lakes Initiative of the Friends Peace Teams website.  To learn more about Mureithi and his upcoming work and projects, visit the Josiah Films website. 

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