Inside the main building, is a permanent exhibition spanning two floors. Downstairs, the exhibition details the 'Path to genocide', 'The 100 day Genocide' and 'The Aftermath'. Upstairs, there is a separate memorial to the children who needlessly perished, and 'Wasted Lives', which details the history of genocide around the world.
Photo - Memorial
A large room downstairs in the Centre contains a growing visual display of photographs of victims. These include family occasions, weddings, births and portraits.
Survivors are encouraged to bring photographs to the Centre so they may be scanned and added to this dynamic display.
The purpose of the exhibition is to explain to visitors the mechanisms that led to the genocide in Rwanda. It unfolds the convoluted history of the region, the relationship between the groups in Rwanda in the past, and the consequences of the division that was created through existing discriminatory policies.
It attempts to show the complexity, rather than the polarity, of human interaction, but with the underlying intent to demonstrate that racism and discrimination create conditions for violence and mass murder. It demonstrates that there was a series of choices that people faced rather than their being subject to inevitability.
Content for the exhibition has been drawn from local sources, survivor testimonies, personal collections and reflections. It is dispassionate but sensitive to the needs of a broad visitor base.
The permanent exhibition tells the story of how the genocide evolved and was implemented. It is divided into three sections: before the genocide, during the genocide, and after the genocide.
The first section chronicles the history of Rwanda, the impact of colonialism, the development of divisive ideology and how inpunity led to the escalation of discrimination and persecution.
The second section describes the genocide itself.
The third section deals with the aftermath and indirect long-term consequences of the genocide, its impact on women and children (widows, orphans, HIV, psychological trauma), issues of justice, and the rebuilding of a fair and equitable society.
The exhibition is in three languages, the principal one being Kinyarwandan, followed by French and then English.