Today I headed out to the Kyoto University of Art and Design to see Jonathan Torgovnik's exhibition entitled Intended Consequences: Rwandan Children Born of Rape. During the genocide that happened in the African country in the '90s, numerous women were systematically raped and many of them, since HIV/AIDS carries, have born children. Photojournalist Torgovnik travelled there to report on these people and has since started the Foundation Rwanda NGO to provide education for the children, support for the mothers and call attention to the consequences of genocides and sexual violence.
The exhibits consists of portraits of the mothers and their children shot in various locations in Rwanda, usualy at their home or nearby. Some look away, some manage a smile, some have tears in their eyes, and some look right through the viewer. The perfect technique of Torgovnik goes a long way to create strong emotions in the viewer. While you can easily most of the shots on the internet, seeing the large reproductions in its glorious quality makes some of the shots look almost alive. The faces of Stella & Claude, Katherine & Eugene and Bernadette and Faustin will stay with me for some time.
If you are interested in photojournalism and/or in social issues, please do make the effort to see the exhibition, whether here in Kansai or when it will travel to other shores. It is a must-see, and you can encourage the artist and his foundation by purchasing the book of the series, which contains interviews with the subjects.
I leave you with a shot of Stella and Claude. I do not own the right to this picture, only Jonathan Torgovnik does. I hope he will not mind that I use it to promote his dedicated work. Mr. Torgovnik, if you wish me to remove this picture from this blog, I will do so gladly and promptly.