Well I’m rapt to say I got my copy of Desktop Magazine today The magazine for Australian Design: Digital Culture and my photo essay and article about Rwanda is in it.
I have scanned it in here for you to see (there’s five pages) but I encourage you to check out the magazine. It’s great (the magazine that is) and I’m grateful to Joe Spurling the Editor.
As requested by me they mention Red Bubble at the end and given this mag has readership of 45,000 I’d say that’s good (does this excuse me for whinging emails Peter? :)
This is the article I wrote to accompany the photos.
It’s called Thirteen years ago. And unfortunately, it’s true.
In April of this year I went as a volunteer photographer to Rwanda in Central Africa to document work done by some charities there.
Most people have heard of the film ‘Hotel Rwanda.’ This gets mixed reviews from Rwandans as all the Rwandans I spoke with considered it to be a Hollywood version and not particularly accurate. These Rwandans ask that people watch ‘Sometimes in April’ – a much more realistic and less ‘glamorous’ take on events. In fact they plead for people to watch it.
Thirteen years ago, Rwanda suffered a horrific genocide.
Over one million people were butchered in just one hundred days, with further hundreds of thousands dying from disease in the aftermath.
This was not a frenzied attack at the hands of demented strangers, or even greedy invaders.
These sickening assaults were carried out by neighbours, family, colleagues, or inconceivably even life-long ‘friends’; with the most intimate of weapons, bare hands, clubs and machetes. Husbands killed wives, teachers killed students, Doctors poisoned patients.
Day after torturous day.
In Rwanda April is the official month of mourning. The one-month of the year when victims openly give flight to the morbid memories that malign their minds.
The shots you see here are of Rwandans praying.
And they are all taken in April.
When Rwandans pray, they pray with their arms, their hands, their eyes and their souls.
Their intention is palpable, their spirit immense.
Their pain resonates and their dismay is suffocating.
Yet, through all this, the tiniest glimmer of hope reveals itself. As if set alight by courage, and relentless conviction.
They say faith moves mountains.
It did move me.
And so I emerged. Photos in hand. Legacy in heart. And one indisputable truth in my mind.
There but by the grace of God, that could have been me.
To find out more about Rwanda and how you can help go to www.cnecpi.com.au