4th Annual IARS World Conference On Reconciliation
Kibuye, Rwanda | August 1-5, 2023
Some Impressions of the 2023 IARS Conference
Video made by one of the Presenters, Prof. Dr. Olivier Munyansanga
The IARS Conference 2023 was generously supported by the following institutions and donors, whom we would like to thank very much:
United Evangelical Mission Wuppertal
Church of Westphalia
Bread for the World
Church of Wuerttemberg
Theological Faculty Freiburg i. B.
Diocese Rottenburg Stuttgart
International Bonhoeffer Society (German Section)
Presbyterian Church of Rwanda
Chairs of the Organizing Committee:
Dr. Maximilian Schell (Ruhr-University Bochum)
Dr. Colleen Alena O’Brien (Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena/JCRS)
Advisory members of the Organizing Committee:
Prof. Dr. Martin Leiner (Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena/JCRS)
Dr. Pascal Bataringaya (Presbyterian Church Rwanda / PIASS Rwanda)
Dr. Laura Villanueva (Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena/JCRS)
Prof. Dr. Toyomi Asano (Waseda University Tokyo)
Prof. Dr. Karina Korestolina (George Mason University)
Rev. Ralf Häußler (Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena/JCRS)
PD Dr. Christine Schliesser (Universität Freiburg/University Zürich)
Reconciliation studies places a stronger focus on the relational aspect and thus emotional and cognitive factors for conflict prevention, transformation and resolution – compared to "conventional" peace approaches – with the question of structural and supra-individual conditions also being an integrative part of the concepts. Peace can only be sustainable if conflicts are dealt with at their roots; peace should thus be qualified by reconciliation and, in the best case, lead to the restoration of relations between all conflict participants at different levels. As these arguments and models gain increasing plausibility against the background of repetitive conflict cycles and protracted wars, reconciliation research is an approach that is growing in importance. This is reflected in the establishment of new reconciliation research centers and
programs at universities such as Bonn (2022), Flensburg (2021), Winchester (2016), Tokyo: Waseda University (2020), and Gaza: Al Azzhar University (2022).
An important driving force of these theoretical and practical conceptualization and localization processes of reconciliation studies is the "International Association for Reconciliation Studies" (IARS), founded in 2020, which creates networks and facilitates discourse spaces on the relevance and perspectives of reconciliation studies at the highest academic level and with the participation of renowned international researchers. IARS is the editor of the Journal for Reconciliation Studies, which will be published for the first time in 2023, and has organized annual conferences in international contexts since 2020 (2020: Jena; Kharkiv and Kyev Regional Conference, Ukraine, 2021: Tokyo, Japan, 2022: Washington D.C.).
About the Conference
The IARS holds annual international conferences in different contexts, mapping and developing current perspectives of the relatively young research approach of "reconciliation studies". The conferences offer a space in which case studies as well as theories, models and conceptions are brought into conversation with current fields of discourse (postcolonial studies, ecological justice and sustainability studies, affect and emotion studies, etc.). The conference is genuinely inter- and transdisciplinary including approaches from psychology, philosophy, education, sociology, economics, law, political science, history, economics, regional studies, communication studies, art as well as theology.
The 2023 IARS Annual World Conference on Reconciliation will be held in Africa for the first time. The special consideration of African approaches and theologies of reconciliation (especially from the Great Lakes region), which have so far found too little entry into global discourses, will be ensured by a strong representation of African scholars and by three separate panels. The global academic landscape is still subject to epistemic, economic and social power asymmetries that need to be addressed at different levels of the conference.
Information about traveling to/in Rwanda
Information for Presenters
Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes, please make sure that this time is respected. Each presentation will be followed by 10 minutes of discussion.
The presentations do not have to be sent to us in advance. You are welcome to prepare a power point presentation or a handout paper. If you create a PowerPoint presentation, please send the file 24 hours before your presentation to this e-mail address. This will help us avoid unnecessary technical problems during the panels.
We plan to publish some papers following the conference. Interested authors can contact the editors of the Journal of Reconciliation Studies at email@example.com
Location and Transportation
The Conference takes place at Hotel Bethany Kibuye/Karongi. You can find more information about Hotel Bethany here.
There will be a bus transporting participants from Kigali (Iris Guest Hotel, 9 KN 33 St, Kigali) to Kibuye on 1 August 2023 at 9.00 am (2 busses) and 10.00 am (1 bus) and back to Kigali (Iris Guest Hotel) on 5 August 2023 after the conference. The drive to the conference center in Kibuye will take between 3 and 4 hours, so you will arrive around 1pm and have lunch.
For those arriving later:
Take a Taxi to Nyabugogo Central Bus Station. From there you can ask people to help you to find the right Bus. There are different Companies for different lines, it should be pretty cheap (between 5-15 Euros). The Rwandans will help you out. Say to them you need to go to Karongi/Kibuye. When you are at Kibuye you take a Taxi to Hotel Bethany A.
For conference participants who arrive in Kigali one or two days before the conference, there is a discounted room contingent at the Iris Guest House in Kigali. The rooms cost 50.000 Rwandan Francs per night (instead of 70.000 Rwandan Francs). All accommodation costs incurred before the start of the conference must be paid by the participants themselves. More information about the Iris Guest House here. If you book a room, please mention (via E-Mail) that you are one of the conference guests.
Visa & Health
Visas for entry into Rwanda can be applied for either online or at the airport after entry. More Information here and here. There are no mandatory vaccinations for entry into Rwanda from Europe. When entering from a yellow fever area, all persons over the age of 12 months must provide proof of yellow fever vaccination. For more information, please visit the homepages of the Foreign Office of your country.
Money in Rwanda
In Rwanda you can now pay by credit card in many places. An important point, if you want to pay with credit card: Please inform your bank about your trip before you arrive. In many cases, if banks are not informed, they will block the credit card as soon as a transfer is made from Rwanda.
It is also important that you have cash in your pocket. Not everywhere you can pay with credit card. We recommend that you exchange money locally in Rwanda, you will get better rates than in your home country. The currency in Rwanda is "Rwandan Franc". At the airport in Kigali you can still pay with dollars.
Cell phone and internet
Rwanda has a very good cell phone network. You can, if you buy a Rwandan SIM card, surf online with your cell phone at very affordable prices (16GB for about 13Dollars). You will then have a Rwandan phone number, but at the same time you can still reach your Whatsapp/Signal/Telegram contacts in your cell phone. You can get the Rwandan SIM card directly at the airport in Kigali (also at night). Just go to the MTN store when you come out of the main entrance and show your passport. You will be registered and get your own SIM. If you don't want to buy a new SIM, you can also use apps with so-called eSIMs (e.g. Airalo). E-Sims are a bit more expensive, but you can leave your original SIM card in your phone.