Thursday, February 25, 2010

Marching for freedom

Photograph by Sebastiao Salgado

Meet the future of Rwanda. Recently, I have expressed much concern for the racial injustice that occured in Rwanda's civil conflict of 1994. Nearly a million Tutsi citizens were massacred. However, the untold side of the story is the effect that genocide had on those that were not Hutu extremist murderers. This boy, for example, is of Hutu decent. Following the victory in Rwanda's capital by the Tutsi army over the Hutu extremists, fear of retribution for the massacres inflicted every Hutu soul. Hundreds of thousands were forced to flee the country in fear of the revenge that many Tutsi survivors sought for. Because they had nowhere to go, they were often forced to settle in refugee camps along rivers, in forests, and other unsanitary conditions ( ).
My point is this: the cycle of hate is a vicious one. The hate between the Hutu and Tutsi has existed for a long time. It saddens me, but books like "Left to Tell" give me hope. I already posted on it, but I cannot express the profound effect that book had on me. Despite her family being massacred, Immaculee still found the power to love and forgive even the most vicious of vile murderers. I hope that lesson of love will someday replace the hate that exists in the hearts of man.

Works Cited

Pierre, Garry. "Zaire Rebels Take Over Key Towns Unopposed." New York Times. New York Times, 1 April 1997. Web. 25 Feb. 2010

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Just finished this sweet book...

I just finished reading Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust, and I am deeply moved by Immaculee Ilibagiza’s narrative of her personal account as a victim of the racial injustice she experienced. As a Tutsi living in civil-war torn Rwanda, she knew first-hand the evil that man is capable of doing. Thanks to Immaculee’s pure heart, however, we are able to see the opposite end of the spectrum; we learn of the incredible love that a person is capable of possessing, even in the face of pure evil. I loved this book for that valuable lesson. Forgiveness—it’s a difficult thing for the average human being. Immaculee, through putting her faith in God and trusting him every step of the way, found love, strength, and compassion as she was able to forgive the people who murdered her family. It is such a profound lesson in my life. How many people have trespassed on me, but I still have yet to forgive them?

Immaculee’s writing style, with the help of Steve Erwin, is beautiful and poetic. I love it because she simply tells the story. The story, like scripture, leads the reader to grow closer to God and to repent of the selfishness that plague us all. I love it, because she does not push to persuade or convince, she tells what happened, and allows the reader to make his own judgment. Immaculee is an amazing inspiration to everyone. She ends the story, by explaining why she wrote the book. “I hope my story helps,” she writes as she ends one of the best books this reader has ever read. I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Rwandan Genocide Continues

Photograph by Sabastiao Salgado

A part of the description that Salgado gives for this photo is how I would like to begin my post: "For 120 miles, the highway was scattered with the corpses of Tutsi killed by the Hutu militia..."
(Salgado 170).
The Rwandan Civil War of 1994 resulted in genocide that left close to 1 million Rwandan civilians of Tutsi decent dead. Extremist Rwandan militants called the Interahamwe were responsible for the slaughter of men, women, and children. However, even in the aftermath of the genocide, the spread of death did not cease. The Interahamwe, living as outcast gangs, in Rwanda, continued to spread their Tutsi hate propaganda ("Rwanda Civil War"). Disturbing to me is that enough is never enough for these people. 1 million Tutsis dead, yet the killing must continue? How do they feel justified in the killing of even one human? Be they different race or not, how does one look into the eyes of another soul and kill?

Salgado, Sebastiao. Photograph. "Migrations: Humanity in Transition." Aperture. New York, 2000. 170.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Another war

Photograph by Sabastia Salgado

Fleeing the atrocities of the conflict between Serbian and Croatian, refugees from both sides fled their homes in desperation of finding freedom. I feel like every time I study a photograph by Salgado, I always come to the same conclusion: War is sick; the human race disgusts me. According to "Bosnian War", an article from Wikipedia, 50,000 raped. 1.8 million displaced from their homes. 97,000 killed. These numbers are disturbing, but to be tragically honest, they mean little in our day-to-day lives. The numbers represent numbers, not people. So that becomes my problem, my issue. How do I raise concern for the people of this picture who have been forcefully relocated and now have to avoid the land mines of this war torn city, and have to put plastic on their windows in order to keep warm in the harsh winter, and have to simply live out their lives knowing that they cannot go back for those they left behind? How do I do them justice? I do not really think there is much I can do. I can only be a voice to the voiceless.

Works Cited

Salgado, Sebastiao. Migrations: Humanity in Transition. New York: Aperture, 2000. Print.

"Bosnian War." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 2010. Web. 11 Feb. 2010.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Live together, Die alone

Everyday, as I sit down to my computer to do my assigned homework for the day, I do the same exact things: I turn on my music on random and I get a big glass of water from the tap in my kitchen. The water from the tap is decent. It is not as good as the bottled water that I have next to my bed, but you are probably saying, "Water doesn't even have a taste." Well, you're right. However, water is great! It is clean, refreshing, and when I am feeling sick, like now, it always satisfies that scratchy throat feeling (you know what I'm talking about).

Photograph by Sabastiao Salgado
I introduce this blog by speaking of my faithful cup of H2O at my side to stress how tiny of a thing it is to the American populous. I do not believe that there is one person reading this that has ever had to face the trial of serious life-threatening drought, like many in our world have. Here, our documentary photographer, Salgado,steals the image of innocence of a child from Zaire. As a membervof a 1994 refugee camp in Zaire, this child walks miles and miles when he desires that same refreshing feeling that I enjoy, here as I complete my homework (Salgado). He walks miles. I am too lazy to go for a refill in the kitchen. It is ridiculous how blessed I am.

Okay, so here are the facts. We are facing, as a global society, some serious catastrophic uneasiness, to put it lightly. According to Eric deCarbonnel of the Centre for Research of Globalization, "The countries that make up two thirds of the world's agricultural output are experiencing drought conditions. Whether you watch a video on drought in China, Australia, Africa, South America, or the US , the scene will be the same: misery, ruined crop, and dying cattle." This is a global issue. We are quickly approaching a time when resources, in general, will be scarce for not just the poor, but also the prosperous. We are approaching a time when countries will have to come together for the benefit of the world to solve the problems facing us. I show the simple issue of drought and starvation, but the issues that afflict the human race are much larger and more numerous. War will certainly erupt, if humans do not work together. We must learn to live together or we will die alone.

Works Cited