Rwandan Children Born of RapePhotographs by Jonathan Torgovnik
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An estimated 20,000 children were born of rapes that occurred during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Fifteen years later, their mothers still face enormous challenges, including being stigmatized for bearing a child fathered by a Hutu militiaman. Over the past three years, photographer Jonathan Torgovnik has visited Rwanda to document their experiencesThe portraits and testimonies featured in Intended Consequences offer intensely personal accounts of these survivors' experience, as well as their conflicted feelings about raising a child who is a reminder of horrors endured. An introduction by Marie Consolée Mukagendo, a Rwandan UNICEF staff member who has studied this aspect of the genocide, provides an in-depth analysis of the subject. Included is a DVD produced by MediaStorm featuring interviews with the women from Intended Consequences. In recent atrocities in Darfur and the Democratic Republic of Congo, rape is being used systematically as a weapon—making the legacy of the Rwandan genocide urgently relevant.
Intended Consequences is made possible, in part, by generous support from Henry Buhl, SanDisk, Artis—Contemporary Israeli Art Fund, and the Consulate General of Israel, Office of Cultural Affairs, in New York. Additional support is provided by Amnesty International and Kodak.
Jonathan Torgovnik’s (born in Israel, 1969) photographs have been widely exhibited and published, including in Newsweek, Aperture, GEO, Sunday Times Magazine, and Stern. A contract photographer for Newsweek magazine since 2005, he is on the faculty of the International Center of Photography School in New York. In 2007, Torgovnik won the National Portrait Gallery’s Photographic Portrait Prize for an image from Intended Consequences. He is co-founder of Foundation Rwanda, which supports secondary school education for children born of rape in Rwanda.
Rwandan-born Marie Consolée Mukagendo [introduction] has worked with UNICEF for over five years. She specializes in working with children affected by armed conflict.
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Emmanuelle, from the series Intended Consequences, Rwanda, 2006
Jean-Paul, from the series Intended Consequences, 2006