Rwanda, 20 Years Later
Twenty years ago this week, the Rwandan genocide began. It’s estimated 800,000 to a million people were killed over 100 days. Most were Tutsi but tens of thousands were moderate Hutu and others caught in the slaughter.
The country today is commemorating by holding a week of mourning alongside a longer 100-day vigil.
The #Rwanda20yrs hashtag on Twitter is an at times sobering, enlightening and inspiring access point to news, resources and personal accounts of the period.
Here’s some of what we’ve been reading through:
- BBC, Rwanda genocide: 100 days of slaughter; a backgrounder on the events.
- BBC, A good man in Rwanda; the story of Mbaye Diagne, an unarmed, Senegalese peacekeeper with the UN, who’s credited with saving at least 500 Rwandans.
- Thomson Reuters Foundation, Genocide and Justice: Rwanda 20 years on; an immersive site with first person accounts from survivors, perpetrators, diplomats and more.
- The Guardian, Genocide in Rwanda was a fork in the road not just for Africa but the world; how the genocide has affected international law and world response to events today.
- Slate, Unreconciled Rwanda; can survivors really forgive those that murdered family and loved ones, and what policies has the Rwandan government put in place to foster reconciliation attempts.
Image: Via National Geographic, “A man tries to unlock a cell door at a hospital in Kigali, Rwanda in 1994. As the genocide spread across the country, doctors and staff of the main psychological hospital in Kigali fled or were killed leaving the patients to care for themselves.” Photo by David Guttenfelder. Revisiting the Rwandan Genocide: Origin Stories From The Associated Press. Select to embiggen.
Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg's nonprofit organization, LeanIn.org, has partnered with Getty Images to “to create a line of stock photos that depict mature, professional businesswomen, rather than ones who appear dumb, subservient, sexualized, or sometimes all three at once.”
“One recent study found that only 3% of creative directors are women. In journalism, men continue to fill the majority of top editor roles — and this likely extends to photo editor roles as well. We’ve all seen Mad Men. This isn’t the 1950s, but the advertising industry is not exactly a model for gender equality. None of this is to say that men can’t accurately depict women in visual imagery, but if we’ve learned anything from the research, it’s that gender equality in every industry leads to better and more representative outcomes.”
"The new library of photos shows professional women as surgeons, painters, bakers, soldiers and hunters. There are girls riding skateboards, women lifting weights and fathers changing babies’ diapers.”
Curt Chandler, who teaches communications and multimedia at Penn State, offers advice to young photographers on building and shopping around their portfolios.
Chandler has also worked with the Student Newsroom at ONA conferences for years, pushing young journalists to produce professional-grade visual documentation of the event. Pay attention to his excellent advice.
Sarah Leen: Advice for Young Photographers (by Online News Association)
Sarah Leen, Director of Photography for National Geographic Magazine, says that younger photographers are developing a “digital sophistication” that’s different from previous generations.
It may be understandable that law enforcement officers have a heightened sense of awareness after pursuing an armed suspect — but that is no excuse for blatantly violating a person’s First Amendment rights — as appears to be the case here.
Wright was arrested while filming on a public street and her phone was confiscated.
Detroit Free Press has posted the video that Wright was filming. In it, you can Wright being approached by a man who is not in uniform and who does not identify himself as a police officer.
When her phone was returned to her after she spent 6 1/2 hours in jail, her SIM card was missing. Police are investigating the incident now.
Packing for a War Zone
For news gathering, Canon Vixia, Nikon D90, GoPro 2, Macbook Air, HyperDrive, collapsible, fold-flat tripod and assorted cables and other odds and ends (nothing top of the line, just reliable and functional.)
Personal maintenance, filter water bottle, some instant coffee packets and some anti-bacterial wipes, three-sets of quick-dry, insect repellant treated clothing (Robert Young Pelton, author of the World’s Most Dangerous Place says he’s going to take away my man-card for that.)
Kevlar helmet and Type IIIA body armor —required for military embeds but not particularly helpful or recommended when reporting in Afghan communities, unilaterally.
Image: Packing for Afghanistan, by Kevin Sites via Boing Boing. Select to embiggen.
Photography was once an act of intent, the pushing of a button to record a moment. But photography is becoming an accident, the curatorial attention given to captured images.
With the rise of automated devices like drones, webcams, and Google Glass taking photographs, will photographers and filmmakers shift into a curatorial role?
Rex Sorgatz on The Case of the Trombone and the Mysterious Disappearing Camera | Tribeca (via thisistheverge)
Instagramming from North Korea, with @dguttenfelder
See more of David’s photos from the DPRK by following him on Instagram: @dguttenfelder.
It’s not every day that you see first-hand scenes from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), and you’ll almost never see an Instagram Photo Map with images posted directly from Pyongyang.
David Guttenfelder (@dguttenfelder), the Associated Press Chief Photographer for Asia, is doing just that: sharing photos on Instagram while on assignment in North Korea. “I feel I can help open a window into a place that would otherwise rarely be seen by outsiders,” he says. “As one of the few international photographers who has ever had regular access to the country, I feel a huge responsibility to share what I see and to show it as accurately as I can.”
David is one of the first people to ever post real-time Instagram pictures from within North Korea. Most visitors to the DPRK don’t have access to internet and—until just a few weeks ago—foreigners were not allowed to bring mobile phones into the country. Now David can share personal iPhone and iPod Touch photos to Instagram as he captures them. “There are so many curious, strangely beautiful, or melancholy details around us here…These might not be typical of the news photos I usually transmit, but they offer fleeting glimpses of this country, and how it feels to be here.”
For more context on the importance of David Guttenfelder posting Instagram photos and the changes in the way that foreigners can access the mobile web in DPRK, see AP’s post Tweets, Pics Give Real-Time Peek Into North Korea.
"I developed the Marksta app because I was tired of people stealing my work on the web," says Marksta’s founder, John D McHugh, a photojournalist best known for his work in Afghanistan. "I often work in incredibly dangerous situations to show the world the stark realities of war and revolution. I can’t describe how frustrating it is to find my images online without any credit or byline."
Would you use a watermark application for photos that you post on social media?
Should people pay journalists and photojournalists to do what they do? As long as someone wants credible information the role of the professional remains important, but the role changes in that professionals are no longer the eyewitness. Think of all those [photography compilation] books in the 20th century which were called “eye witness” or “the eyes of the world” or something similar. That’s no longer relevant when there are 4 billion cellphone eyes out there.
Professionals are valuable as commentators, interpreters, validators. We know what is happening in Syria but for sifting all the detail and taking a position on all of that, we still look to the professionals.
Last year, during the Arab Spring, it was the “good little guy” against the “big bad guy”. Simple. Now, we are seeing is a much more complex mix of bad little guys as well a good little guys. I am learning all the different computations from experts — people who are studying the form, researching it, being present and reporting back out. That’s not something I can put together from Facebook. I need someone to guide me through that very complex area.