Between Fiction and Reality in Post-Genocide Rwanda: Reflections on a Social-Psychological Media Intervention for Social Change


  • Rezarta Bilali


This article reflects on the potential and challenges of implementing social psychological interventions in the aftermath of genocide, specifically focusing on an education entertainment media campaign in Rwanda. The analysis is based on the author’s experience working with a non-governmental organization in producing "Musekeweya"—a very popular violence prevention and reconciliation radio drama. The article highlights the advantages of using fiction as an effective tool to communicate messages about violence and reconciliation, and provide a safe space to address sensitive topics in post-genocide contexts. In addition, it outlines some of the challenges of translating existing knowledge to interventions that promote reconciliation in specific socio-political settings, such as Rwanda, where the government has implemented a series of programs and policies to achieve unity and reconciliation. The paper ends with a discussion of future directions to further increase social and political psychology’s potential to inform effective social interventions in the aftermath of violence.