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¬†bad news¬†is the story of anjan sundaram's time teaching a class of journalists in kigali, the capital city of rwanda. The current rwandan regime, which seized power after the genocide in 1994, is often held up as a beacon of progress and is the recipient of billions of dollars each year in aid from western governments. Underpinning this shining vision of a modern orderly state, however, is a powerful climate of fear springing from the government's brutal treatment of any voice of dissent. "You cannot look and write," A policeman tells sundaram as he takes notes at a political rally. As sundaram's students are exiled, imprisoned, recruited as well-paid propagandists, and even shot, he tries frantically to preserve a last bastion of debate in a country where the testimony of the individual is crushed by the ways of thinking prescribed by paul kagame's dictatorial regime.¬†¬†¬†¬† a vivid portrait of a country at an extraordinary and dangerous place in its history,¬†bad newsis a brilliant and urgent parable on the necessity of freedom of expression and what happens when that freedom is seized.
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