Unica Zürn

Zara Wood , Zara in Wonderland , Small Wonders - BoxBird Gallery

Jonathan Torgovnik

Awareness is meant, in the words of Mary Kayitesi Blewitt, founder of SURF (a survivor’s fund for victims of the genocide) to “remind us of the suffering that must never again be permitted to happen to anyone.” (Although as Torgovnik has mentioned, the same kind of violence is now being perpetrated against women of Congo and Darfur despite an arguably extensive awareness of the situation by the rest of the world.) Foundation Rwanda strives to provide the women with basic help not provided by Rwanda itself, and to ensure education for their young teenagers, who will soon represent, in age, nearly half the population.

However, the country’s fragmentation needs a resolution that is self-sustaining. As Dambisa Moyo, economist and author of Dead Aid, has pointed out, the education of a child needs a purpose beyond Western satisfaction—the possibility of a job, and an economy in which it can be applied. There is little to criticize in Torgovnik’s photographs and subsequent activism, but what it takes on is enormous: a genocide of which the effects will reverberate through many more generations of Rwandans. The most effective thing the show offers toward long-term solution is not Foundation Rwanda’s donations, but its power to reach others through the experience of the women’s pictures and testimonies—as it already has, and will continue to do all over the America, from college campuses to the UN.


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