The Echo Eternal project is based on the 1994 genocide in Rwanda against the Tutsi (and moderate Hutu) population. Students from both City and Arena Academy learnt about the events that led to the genocide and the brutal consequences. Eric.E.Murangwa (MBE) survived the events of the genocide because of a few significant reasons. These reasons he highlighted in a testimony.
Students read, analysed and used his testimony as inspiration to create an artistic response with the help of Mark and Emily from Highly Strung, a performing arts company. With the use of music, very few words, and creative movements, the students of City and Arena Academy produced a tribute to Eric’s testimony in which they shared his journey of survival. One of the key messages the students portrayed through their performance was the importance of forgiveness and unity. The sharing highlighted how forgiveness and unity enabled Eric to survive the genocide, how key individuals put aside their own agenda to help Eric stay alive.
Here’s what one student had to say about the project:
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Back In November 2019, City Academy & Arena Academy collaborated together to create an interpretive drama piece with the help of 2 professionals from ‘Highly Sprung’, based on the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. This project had the aim to bring a survivor’s testimony alive. Our survivor was called Eric Eugene Murangwa and this project was a tribute to him.
Participating in this project allowed me to convey a message that has stayed with me even months after the sharing; “You can’t defeat evil with evil. You can only defeat evil with good”. During the genocide – even after it, Eric never fought back against those who committed the evil atrocities. To this day, he spreads the message of peace and forgiveness. Through this project, I have learnt a lot about how difference can divide. I think it is now important to spread the message on how differences can unite.