In high school, we only learned about the Holocaust and some of the Rwandan genocide. We went in depth about the Holocaust, but not so much about the Rwandan genocide. Though there was not much discussion on the Rwandan genocide, we did however watch the movie Hotel Rwanda and briefly discussed the surface of that particular genocide. It wasn’t until I got to college that I learned about the numerous other genocides that occurred throughout history. I believe it is a disservice that the public and private school systems are lacking the education of the historic genocides that have taken place for centuries to their students. My memorial will help bridge the gap between the two. I believe that knowledge and education is the key to anything and everything. Once we know why an event happened we could share that knowledge effectively and educate further generations and have hope that they will do the same and educate communities to prevent similar future actions.
For my memorial project, I want to design a memorial that is informative and gives people something to talk about. I believe this memorial should be built in Washington D.C. at the Smithsonian Museum. This will then bring much attraction to my memorial due to the popularity of the museum. My thought process behind the design of the memorial was that the words “Hasn’t Enough Blood Been Shed?” be on a transparent surface hanging from the sealing with a white background displaying the various genocide’s that have occurred. I chose to use non-bolded black letters so that the emphasis will be on the word blood. I chose to use a bright red color for the word blood because that will grasp everyone’s attention the most. The word blood is the strongest word on the memorial because when people think of blood they think of either pain or death, which is what I’m trying to convey with this memorial. I want people to feel the pain that those effected by these genocides felt. In order for people to care, it has to be relatable or stir up some emotion in that person, and I believe this is what putting the emphasis on the word blood will do.
The background behind that layer would be white and have various facts on the Holocaust, Rwandan genocide, Cambodian genocide, Bosnian genocide and the Armenian genocide. Some facts that I would include are the years these genocides occurred, an estimate on how many people died, different quotes from people who have died and lists of those who survived or either died. Some examples are the Holocaust (1941-1945), estimated deaths are 6 million Jews, Rwandan Genocide (April 7, 1994- July 5, 1994) deaths are estimated at 1,000,000, Armenia (1914-1923) deaths estimated at 1.5 million, Cambodia (1975-1979) deaths estimated at 1.871 million, Bosnia (July 11, 1995- July 13, 1995), and Genocides of many Indigenous People deaths are too many to count. A few quotes that I would include in this memorial are “The most horrible and systematic human massacre we have had occasion to witness since the extermination of the Jews by the Nazis” quoted by British Philosopher Bertrand Russel. “The whole world failed Rwanda” quoted from UN staff members. This will be the basis of the memorial because this will be the part that has all the facts that the audience will be viewing.
On one side of the memorial going vertical will be “#WECANPREVENTTHIS”, making the memorial a call to action. Prevention is one of the key points that is being portrayed by this memorial. Prevention of future genocides is doable, and if we make the knowledge available to everyone then it will become easier for people to recognize the signs. I feel as though this part of the memorial is important because it will provide a great variety of information and have people leaving wondering what is next. The hash tag “#WECANPREVENTTHIS” will hopefully start a movement and public/private school systems will incorporate these genocides into their curriculum, so that students can learn about the history of genocides before they get to college, or even if they don’t go to college. In today’s age, using hashtags and social media is one of the best ways to get a message to the world. The hashtag will be there for everyone who comes to the museum, and they will be able to take pictures with it or can use the hashtag and say something they learned that day.
I believe some people may have a problem with this memorial because it includes so many topics. This memorial is going to be a starting point for people to research, and based upon their deeper research they will gain more knowledge on these genocides. The memorial is not supposed to tell the audience everything that happened and why, but it is to show that so many have happened, but we can prevent future genocides from studying the past.
The design for this memorial is very straightforward. My thoughts and points are clearly stated with the memorial. With this memorial, I would be targeting the youth and those who don’t know about these genocides. It is important for the youth to be educated on this topic because they are the ones who will soon be in these areas to contribute to society. For these kids to be successful and well-rounded they need to know all they can about the world.
This memorial would be a great addition to the Smithsonian Museum because it offers a larger over view of the numerous genocides that have happened over the many decades. I strongly believe this memorial will be well perceived by the general public and will have much success with teaching the world about genocide.
Hi! My name is Monique, I’m currently a senior at Old Dominion University majoring in Women’s Studies. I am interested in many things such as reproductive rights, animal rights, environmental justice, and a lot more.