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dc.contributor.authorHitchcott, Nicki
dc.identifier.citationHitchcott , N 2021 , ' Seeing the Genocide against the Tutsi through someone else's eyes : prosthetic memory and Hotel Rwanda ' , Memory Studies , vol. 14 , no. 5 , pp. 935-948 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 268009259
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 186d534b-b3ba-4816-9138-ba223b93e524
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 85091760171
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000575469600001
dc.description.abstractAlison Landsberg’s theory of ‘prosthetic memory’ suggests that memories are not ‘owned’, that is they do not depend on lived experience, but rather they can occur as a result of an individual’s engagement with a mediated representation (e.g. a film, a museum, a TV series, a novel). One of the best-known mass cultural responses to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda is Terry George’s 2004 feature film, Hotel Rwanda. While the film was a huge commercial success, Rwandan survivor testimonies paint a very different picture of what happened in the real ‘Hotel Rwanda’ (the Hôtel des Mille Collines in the Rwandan capital of Kigali). This article discusses the different versions of the ‘Hotel Rwanda’ story through the lens of prosthetic memory and considers the usefulness of Landsberg’s theory for analysing memory narratives from or about Rwanda. While Landsberg promotes prosthetic memories as ‘in the best cases’ capable of generating empathy and political alliances, I show that, when mass-mediated representations create revisionist false ‘memories’, this can have harmful consequences for survivors of trauma. After focusing on the ethical implications of what Landsberg describes as ‘seeing through someone else’s eyes’, I conclude that prosthetic memory is a concept that should be treated with caution.
dc.relation.ispartofMemory Studiesen
dc.rightsCopyright © The Author(s) 2020. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (
dc.subjectProsthetic memoryen
dc.subjectGenocide against the Tutsien
dc.subjectHotal Rwandaen
dc.subjectPaul Rusesabaginaen
dc.subjectAlison Landsbergen
dc.subjectBF Psychologyen
dc.subjectN Visual arts (General) For photography, see TRen
dc.titleSeeing the Genocide against the Tutsi through someone else's eyes : prosthetic memory and Hotel Rwandaen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.School of Modern Languagesen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.Frenchen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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