Practicing Heritage Means Life or Death in Rwanda

In Rwanda, the field of heritage production is dominated by the central government. National museums and memorials are part of the government’s efforts to establish a usable history for the country, where politicized divisions between ethnic groups, reinforced and reified during colonialism, resulted in a devastating genocide in 1994. Establishing a singular narrative and identity—along with the life-or-death stakes—means that the democratizing practices advocated within heritage scholarship circles are unlikely to gain traction.

Smoke and Mirrors

For attendees of the AAA Annual Meeting in San José, the reference to smoke is apropos. We all saw and felt the cloud of nearby disaster. Smoke is a cloud, dimming vision and making it hard to breathe deeply. How was it possible to pass from venue to venue, and session to business meeting to roundtable with that cloud hanging over us all?