Rwanda intended consequences film
More than 20,000 children were born as a consequence of rapes during 1994 genocide, many with HIV; mothers are often left to raise them alone while suffering profoundly from psychological, medical and economic impacts; the situation is not without hope, however, and you can make a difference.
Multimedia created by MediaStorm: http://mediastorm.org/0024.htm from photos and video by Jonathan Torgovnik
Opportunties to take action at Foundation Rwanda: http://www.foundationrwanda.org/
On April 7, 1994, the Rwandan genocide began, resulting in the deaths of between 800,000 and 1,000,000 men, women and children. During the 100 days of violence, Rwandan women were subjected to horrendous acts of sexual violence. Among the survivors, those who are most isolated are the women who have given birth as a result of being raped —to an estimated 20,000 children.
Intended Consequences, a multimedia film created by MediaStorm (www.mediastorm.org) from the photographs and video of award-winning photographer, Jonathan Torgovnik, chronicles the lives of these women, many of whom have been rejected by their families, compounding already unimaginable poverty, emotional distress and illness, especially due to high rates of HIV infection from the same attacks that left them pregnant. In the piece, which is viewable both in full and in individual segments dedicated to each of the featured women, their stories are told in their own voices, accompanied by still portraiture and video.
Intended Consequences is a call to action. In the words of Stella, one of the women interviewed, “The legacy of genocide is too hard to live with. But life continues. Tell the world that the international community has a debt, because they didn’t come to our rescue. They should now come to support us, as we deal with the legacy of genocide”.
It is with an eye towards the future that Jonathan Torgovnik has launched Foundation Rwanda (http://www.foundationrwanda.org, an organization devoted to supporting children born from rape during the genocide and their mothers through education, healthcare and outreach about sexual violence prevention.
April 7, 2009, marks the 15th anniversary of the start of the Rwandan genocide. To commemorate this event, several related activities and events have been planned:
Intended Consequences: Rwandan Children Born of Rapebrings together Torgovnik’’s powerful stories of these women. The exhibition is comprised of thirty stunning individual portraits of the women with their children accompanied by their testimonies – intensely personal accounts of the daily challenges they continue to face, and their conflicted feelings about raising a child who is a reminder of horrors endured. The testimonies are presented through text panels as well as video interviews with the women projected on a large screen in the center of the installation produced by MediaStorm. The exhibition also features a large grid with sixteen portraits of the children, and a video interview with Torgovnik. It will be on view at the Aperture Gallery (547 West 27th Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY) from February 20-May 7, 2009.
An accompanying book of the same title will be published by Aperture worldwide on April 7, 2009 and a satellite exhibition of Torgovnik’s work that will open in the lobby of the United Nations that same day.
From Ina Howard-Parker