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From the Forgiveness Chronicles: Rwanda

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

[ by Charles Cameron — a reminder from 2014 — for those who preach love, for those who preach mercy ]
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Rwanda detail
Dominique Ndahimana, Perpetrator (left); Cansilde Munganyinka, Survivor

**

Dominique Ndahimana:

The day I thought of asking pardon, I felt unburdened and relieved. I had lost my humanity because of the crime I committed, but now I am like any human being.

Cansilde Munganyinka:

After I was chased from my village and Dominique and others looted it, I became homeless and insane. Later, when he asked my pardon, I said: ‘I have nothing to feed my children. Are you going to help raise my children? Are you going to build a house for them?’ The next week, Dominique came with some survivors and former prisoners who perpetrated genocide. There were more than 50 of them, and they built my family a house. Ever since then, I have started to feel better. I was like a dry stick; now I feel peaceful in my heart, and I share this peace with my neighbors.

**

Rwanda

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Another perpetrator / survivor pair:

François Ntambara

Because of the genocide perpetrated in 1994, I participated in the killing of the son of this woman. We are now members of the same group of unity and reconciliation. We share in everything; if she needs some water to drink, I fetch some for her. There is no suspicion between us, whether under sunlight or during the night. I used to have nightmares recalling the sad events I have been through, but now I can sleep peacefully. And when we are together, we are like brother and sister, no suspicion between us.

Epiphanie Mukamusoni:

He killed my child, then he came to ask me pardon. I immediately granted it to him because he did not do it by himself — he was haunted by the devil. I was pleased by the way he testified to the crime instead of keeping it in hiding, because it hurts if someone keeps hiding a crime he committed against you. Before, when I had not yet granted him pardon, he could not come close to me. I treated him like my enemy. But now, I would rather treat him like my own child.

**

Source:

  • Pieter Hugo, Portraits of Reconciliation: 20 years after the genocide in Rwanda
  • photos by Susan Dominus
  • Zenpundit made a fine DoubleQuote via Twitter

    Sunday, April 24th, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron — refugees in art & photography ]
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    Zen — meaning our host, Mark Safranski — just posted a fine visual DoubleQuote on Twitter. First came this retweet:

    Then, in short order, his own tweet:

    — which, if you follow the link, leads to this:

    Raft of the Medusa
    The Raft of the Medusa, Théodore Géricault

    **

    See also:

  • Kaitlin Hanger, Boat Refugees in Art: Inspired by the anniversary of the sinking of Cuba’s “13 De Marzo” tugboat victims on this day in 1994
  • Comparative martyr photos for Ibn Siqilli

    Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron — Muslim and Sikh memorial photos have similar aesthetic & emotional appeal ]
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    I’ve long been interested in the death photos used in AQ and IS propaganda, several of which Chris Anzalone [aka Ibn Siqilli] has documented, eg:


    Al-Zubayr al-Sudani, as featured in the AQC-produced video series “Wind of Paradise

    and:

    baitullah-mehsud
    The late Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan leader, Baytullah Mehsud.

    **

    Today, I ran across similar images from a site devoted to the Khalistan (Sikh homeland) liberation movement

    Sikh martyrs

    As far as I can tell, being linguistically and historically challenged, the gentleman on the right would be Gurjant Singh Budhsinghwala — perhaps someone can help me identify the gentleman on the left.

    On form and beauty

    Saturday, November 28th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — capable photographers capture “form” in their viewfinders, not just “content” ]
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    A toothy sea
    A toothy sea

    **

    I have just been browsing someone’s choice of the “100 best photographs ever taken without photoshop”, and was struck by the ways in which form in general, and contrasts in juxtaposition more specifically — two of my recurring interests, form and the DoubleQuotes respectively — kept cropping up. I’ll get to them, and offer some stepped-down images from the series —

    but first, take a look at the whole series as posted at The 100 best photographs ever taken without photoshop. Even the reduction to 60% of published size necessitated by the ZP column width loses much of the beauty — and imagine how they’d be as actual framed prints, in their original full sizes!

    Someone’s choices? Yes, and by no means necessarily the best choices — this selection no doubt answers to a selection bias in the individual who put the series together — so the patterns I’m seeing here may belong either to that individual, or to the general human delight in contrasts, parallelisms and oppositions.

    **

    Earth and Sky, Heaven and Earth:

    Waterspout on Lake Victoria, Uganda
    Waterspout on Lake Victoria, Uganda

    Fickle moods
    Fickle moods

    Volcanic eruption in IcelandVolcanic eruption in Iceland

    **

    The seasons: time as change

    An autumn forest. 50 percent Downloaded
    An autumn forest. 50 percent Downloaded

    Autumn and winter meet in Colorado, USA
    Autumn and winter meet in Colorado, USA

    Autumn and winter meet in Miklukhin, Rostov region, Russia
    Autumn and winter meet in Miklukhin, Rostov region, Russia

    **

    Human impact observed:

    Two worlds divided, New York, USA
    Two worlds divided, New York, USA

    Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, North Korea’s founder
    Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, North Korea’s founder

    An Italian beach
    An Italian beach

    **

    On reflection, sheer, simple symmetries:

    The aftermath of a flood in Ljubljana, Slovenia
    The aftermath of a flood in Ljubljana, Slovenia

    An eagle soaring over a lake in Canada
    An eagle soaring over a lake in Canada

    **

    And that’s only a fraction of what the whole series of a hundred photos offers us. Each of these, I’d submit, is what I’d term a DoubleQuote in the Wild.

    One final shot, color against grey — perhaps the loveliest of all:

    A temple covered in ash from the Ontake volcanic eruption, Japan
    A temple covered in ash from the Ontake volcanic eruption, Japan

    So much humanity, so much pathos there.

    **

    Brilliant minds in both the arts and sciences focus as much on form as on content — on patterns, repetitions, symmetries for their own sakes, as much as on the particulars of the fields they study and in which they find them. At heart, this is a matter of aesthetic cognition.

    We would do well to cultivate this kind of double vision — the awareness of form as well as content — across the board, from education and the arts to the sciences and strategy.

    The moment we become polarized, however, in terms of a political or other form of partisanship, content becomes all we see (and agree or disagree with), and form effectively evaporates. In terms of the images above, we see earth or sky, summer or autumn, town or country — left or right — but not — but no longer — the whole.

    Which best captures the fleeting present — past or future?

    Monday, October 26th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — architectural history as a question in philosophy — Palmyra ]
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    Future?

    Past?

    **

    I’ll admit my preference for “past” — but is it just “the patina of antiquity”I’m appreciating?

    What building from the first decades of this millennium might people think worth preserving — or destroying — a thousand years hence?

    And what if the present should arise and fade, unaided?


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