Episode 6 – Boubacar Boris Diop

Hello, curious people! Welcome back to a new episode!

In the last episode we met Kaneza Theogone, a pastor, peacemaker, educator, and surivor of the genocide against the Tutsi in 1994. He shared his story openly with us and allowed us to take a different approach to the topic of the genocide, leaving the role of arts and literature aside for a moment. 

In today’s episode we’ve focused on literature again in order to present to you Boubacar Boris Diop, Senegalese novelist, journalist and screenwriter. 

His book Murambi, Le livre des ossements (Murambi, the Book of Bones, 2000) is one of several publications that resulted from the panafrican project Rwanda – Écrire pare devoir de mémoire (“Rwanda – writing to fulfil the duty of memory”) that invited writers to stay in Rwanda for two months and to transform their experiences into work of arts related to the genocide against the Tutsis in 1994.

“How to avoid being spectacular if one tells a real story that basically was spectacular?”. “How to tell a story that leads to change?” These thoughts accompanied the author during his work on the text. “If I write that, nobody would believe me”. Nevertheless, critics say that with Murambi, he comes closer to the genocide against the Tutsi in 1994 than many political scientists or historians did (Radio France International, cf. bookcover).

In his multilayered novel, Boubacar Boris Diop portrays victims as well as perpetrators. He gives the genocide names. Together with Cornelius, who worked and lived abroad at the time of the genocide, we as readers can start to comprehend the “absolutely unbelievable” (p. 96) that the genocide against the Tutsi in 1994 brought about. 

At the end of the episode we reward your curiosity and patience with Ona reading out one of the most beautiful (because meaningful) passages of Murambi, the Book of Bones. Join us in this conversation and let us know what you think! 


The episode features the song “Remembrance” as well as “Wishing for a better future”, which the film music composer Liam Colomer and Rwandan born Belgian Jazz singer Ineza kindly gave us permission to use in our podcast. Together with five other songs it forms part of the soundtrack to the documentary Generation 94, a wonderful story of genocide survivors who ended up promoting initiatives to help Rwandan people in vulnerable situations. The episode also features the song “Acoustic guitar rythm with maracas” by maurolop (Intro), available under CC0 1.0 license, as well as “Guitar loop 1l43” by Setuniman (Outro) available under CC BY-NC 3.0 license.


The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the interviewees and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and viewpoints of (Re)membering Rwanda. 

The opinions of our interviewees are based upon information they consider reliable, but (Re)membering Rwanda doesn’t warrant its completeness or accuracy, and it should not be relied upon as such.
Any views or opinions are not intended to malign any religion, ehtnic group, club, organization or individual.

Curious to learn more? Click here to find a list of useful resources and links connected to the topics of our episodes:


%d bloggers like this: