News Post

Horrible Beauty
Horrible Beauty
An original play, written by two sixth-formers, honors the victims and survivors of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda


When she moved to Rwanda 10 years ago, Catherine Farmer ’15 remembers looking out the window of the car and seeing prisoners in pink jumpsuits working alongside the road. It was the period of reintegration in the country: A decade after the 100-day conflict that killed an estimated 800,000 people, many of those convicted of committing acts contributing to the genocide were serving out the ends of their sentences — doing manual labor in the community, like building homes for genocide survivors, schools and parks.

Today the image remains embedded in Farmer’s mind as a symbol of healing.

“Even then, although there was still some tension,” she said, “there was also a communal sense of loss — and that push … that want … that everyone wanted to make Rwanda better again. They wanted to remake those ties. They wanted to forgive — and they did.”

In many ways, that sentiment was at the heart of a play Farmer wrote along with her friend Laurie Germain ’15 that was performed on the Hilltop this spring. Read the full article