Imagine: Reflections on Peace

In Ethics on November 4, 2020 at 6:15 PM

Photograph by © Jack Picone

Alice Mukarurinda and Emanuel Ndayisaba. Ndayisaba admits to killing dozens of people during the genocide. Alice is one of his victims, left for dead in a swamp after he cut off her hand. 

Thu 15 Oct 2020 04.00 EDT

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Colombia, Lebanon, Northern Ireland, and Rwanda, a new project and book by the VII Foundation, Imagine: Reflections on Peace shows the difficult work being done to break cycles of conflict in each country’s recent history. Survivors and photographers who witnessed events during and after the dark times, tell their stories.

The project is conceived to encourage discourse and conversation around peace-building and ending conflict. It is an initiative of The VII Foundation, which was established in 2001 to challenge complex social, economic, environmental and human rights issues through documentary non-fiction storytelling and education.

“When battlefield prowess and political manipulation are not enough to achieve peace through victory, we summon our best and brightest to negotiate an end; we celebrate peace settlements; and we give prizes, if not to victors, then to visionaries. We exalt peace as a human achievement, and justly so. But the reality of peace is flawed. The rewards of peace are elusive for the men and women who live in the post-conflict societies of our time. Why is it so difficult to make a good peace when it is so easy to imagine?”

“In 1994, as Rwanda was in the throes of genocide, I illegally crossed the Ugandan border to document one of recent history’s darkest events. I documented a broken country gouged, burnt, scarred and littered with corpses.”

“Twenty-five years later, I revisited Rwanda and found a very different country. A country that carries the genocide with it in its collective memory but refuses to be defined by it. Instead, Rwandan people have been transformative and accomplished the impossible, turning the darkness of the genocide, into light.”

~ Jack Picone


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