Radical Joy Revealed
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April 23, 2014

Radical Joy Revealed is a weekly message of inspiration about finding and making beauty in wounded places. We hope you'll enjoy these doorways into places that are both familiar and surprising, and we welcome your suggestions, stories, and photos. Click here to subscribe.

Through the Broken Places
Genocide Memorial Park
Creating the memorial of mosaic, Genocide Memorial Park, Gisenyi

"When we create beauty, it's like we make a fire in the dark night of winter. This gives us hope, it gives us warmth. It beckons to other people to come and work together," said Lily Yeh in an Orion Magazine webinar with Trebbe Johnson and Glenn Albrecht. Lily works with people with people in poor, broken, disenfranchised communities to create works of public art that empower people and effect social change. Beginning in 2004, ten years after the genocide in Rwanda, she launched the Rwanda Healing Project.

 

At that time, the site of a mass grave in the Rugerero District was marked only by a sign posted by a few posts propping up a rusty metal roof. Yeh worked with survivors to create Genocide Memorial Park, an open, grassy area surrounded by a wall of sculpted peaks and valleys through which a processional walkway leads to a covered pavilion made of colorful mosaic tiles. A few steps below ground is the Bone Chamber, a sanctuary where bones discovered during the construction process lie in state. A few people at a time may enter, remember, grieve--and return to the light.

 

"Through the broken places, through the broken hearts, through the broken family structure, somehow it creates an opening that we can enter into the depths of what it means to be human," Lily says.


 

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Join people around the world for the 5th annual Global Earth Exchange on Saturday, June 21. Visit a wounded place you care about, get to know the place as it is now, share your stories, and make a bird of materials the place offers you.
Radical Joy for Hard Times is a global community dedicated to finding and making beauty in wounded places. Reconnecting with these places, sharing our stories of loss and despair, and making acts of beauty there, we transform the land, reconnect people and the places that nourish them, and empower ourselves to make a difference in the way we live on Earth.
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2014 Radical Joy for Hard Times | | trebbe@radicaljoyforhardtimes.org |