Children of the genocide


Today I found this photo, taken last month at the Kigali Genocide Centre in Rwanda. Not only is this centre set up to educate people about the horrors of genocide, but also a place for families and friends of those who were brutally murdered, butchered and hacked to death to remember and come to terms with what happened. There are walls lined with wire and clips where you can attach photographs – for many the only photograph they have – of lost ones. There is a separate wall for children, toddlers and babies – yet to form, identify with, or express political or ethnic viewpoints, yet still victims. Beneath some photographs they have the child’s favourite food, sayings, or hopes for the future, and then the way they were killed. Some were shot, others bludgeoned or hacked with machetes, and the smallest smashed against walls. It is hard to contain composure in such a place – to read the words and look at the images without breaking down – but to look away and pretend or hope it didn’t happen is not an option.

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