Writing on bones: Commemorating genocide in Boubacar Boris Diop's Murambi

Nicki Hitchcott*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


During the 1994 Rwandan genocide, an estimated 50,000 people were slaughtered at the Murambi technical school in Gikongoro province. the school buildings now house a memorial museum where the exhumed bodies of some of the victims are displayed in memory of the Rwandan genocide. Four years later, Boubacar Boris Diop visited Rwanda under the aegis of the "Ecrire par devoir de mémoire" project. Diop's trip led to the publication of the novel Murambi: le livre des ossements (2000) (Murambi: The Book of Bones), a fictional commemoration of the Rwandan genocide, based on the massacre that took place at the Murambi technical school. Reading the memorial text alongside the memorial museum, this article discusses the ways in which Diop's novel commemorates the extermination of around one million Rwandan people in one hundred days and, in so doing, implicates the reader in a process of remembering-and acknowledging-genocide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-61
Number of pages14
JournalResearch in African Literatures
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2009


Dive into the research topics of 'Writing on bones: Commemorating genocide in Boubacar Boris Diop's Murambi'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this