2016 / Editorial / Conflict
â€˜FRACTURED LIVESâ€™a photographic journal illuminating the plight of Rwandan citizens
rebuilding their lives post 1994 genocide, stories of humanity and hopeThis essay focuses on the daunting task of rebuilding a fractured society through the eyes of the perpetrators, ex-combatants and survivors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide along with the vulnerable generation of young Rwandans growing up in an atmosphere clouded by conflict. The visual journal provides a narrative of their daily personal experiences conquering the challenges in their communities that continue to be divided, within a landscape that promotes reconciliation and forgiveness as the engine to nurture a united prosperous nation.The aim was to compose an intimate profile of these citizens progressing survival in the aftermath of a brutal war; illuminating their resilience, indomitable spirit, along with their frustrations and disappointments. The approach does not sanitize the critical issues, but strives to create a balanced outlook from all â€˜eyesâ€™. The essay provides a fresh view of what is happening in the region of the long-term implications of war and, the solutions on the ground to rebuild these fractured lives. Most photographic documentaries illustrating genocide in Rwanda have depicted the victimsâ€™ suffering and grief. Few in-depth stories have portrayed the actual every day lives of not only survivors, but from the perpetratorâ€™s vantage and their challenges re-entering society after being incarcerated in jail, or departure from many years in the military. This film strives to illustrate a more inclusive view and, as importantly, highlight how permanent peace can be achieved.The broad goal is to create greater awareness of what is happening in Rwanda post genocide and provoke debate so that the wider public and policy makers can discuss the challenges of the Rwandan society from the perspective of those who continue to be affected today 2016, 22 years after the genocide war ended. It is hoped that the broader worldly audience, major donors and international agencies will be inspired to support the work that local organisations, in partnership with global peace building NGOs, undertakes to build the foundation for a lasting peace. My photographic essay aspires to be the tool that lubricates the support.