Citizens
Portraits of Canadian Women of African Descent
  CITIZENS...
  CURATOR'S
THOUGHTS
  PHOTOGRAPHER'S THOUGHTS
  TESTIMONIES
  RESOURCES-CREDITS
Perpetue Muramutse
Extrait sonore

First encounter
FIRST ENCOUNTER

"When I was 18, I met the man who would become. my husband. He was very handsome. I noticed him . But he was the only one who didn't ask me to dance all evening! I still remind him about that!"

The declaration
THE DECLARATION

"After that evening, I sent him my photo." Sometimes it's just one step from friend to husband...

Pour toi Faustin,
Je t'envoie seulement une photo, mais si cela était possible, je viendrais moi même. Chaleureusement à toi,
Perpétue

Perpetue Muramutse

I abandoned everything from one day to the next. My family and I left Rwanda on 13 July 1994. Four to five million people were fleeing the fighting.

We lost our country, but we had the luck to find a new one.

Remarks recorded during an interview.


Born in Rwanda, Perpétue Muramutse studied in Belgium to be a teacher before returning to Rwanda. Sensitive to the precarious living conditions of her community, she reoriented her career towards socio-economic development, working for the United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank and CARE.

The Bride's Departure

THE BRIDE'S DEPARTURE

She left Rwanda in 1994 because of the war. In the refugee camps in Zaire, she was responsible for the family-reunification programme within UNICEF. "Refugee camps are places where human beings find themselves in a situation of total distress."

Perpétue arrived in Montreal in November 1997. Each member of her family arrived separately. "When you're a refugee, you don't have the means to say, 'We're paying for the trip and then we're leaving.' It's run for your life." The first two years of exile were very difficult. "On arriving in Canada, all I had for baggage were family photos, and the only people I knew were my three children. I felt completely impoverished. For the first time in my life, I found myself in a difficult situation without seeing any way to get out of it."

Her commitment to community organizations eased her integration. "What helped me regain hope was the human side of certain organizations. It was there that all my potential awoke. That encouraged me to carry on, to take my life in hand again, and this was like a springboard towards other professional adventures."

Since 1999, she has led workshops for the city of Montreal, introducing parents and children to the pleasures of reading.

Writing is a passion that Perpétue has always nurtured. In Rwanda, she had already written and published children's books. "African children don't have the money or the means to travel in their own country. Through my books, I was giving them a tour!" Today a member of Solidarité Femmes Africaines and its coordinator, Perpetué is the author of a play and discussion forum on racial discrimination entitled The Sun Forgets No Village. " ... whatever we do, the sun shines for everyone. It cannot be corrupted in any way whatsoever. In Canada, each citizen has the right to their place, and the duty to assume it."



Cooking Pots for Sustenance and Survival
COOKING POTS FOR SUSTENANCE AND SURVIVAL

Consider the Children
CONSIDER THE CHILDREN

The Family Reunion
THE FAMILY REUNION

Akagera Park, Rwanda
AKAGERA PARK, RWANDA

The Agaseke
THE AGASEKE