"'Rwanda 2004 Vestiges of a Genocide' contains older work in limited edition on a small English imprint. It features an essay by an investigative journalist, Linda Melvern, who has written extensively on Rwanda.
'Rwanda 2004. Vestiges of a genocide' is a powerfully restrained piece of work that began when Pieter HUGO came across an article in a financial magazine about Rwanda's development since the genocide of 1994, when nearly a million people were murdered in an 'organised and efficient' campaign by Hutu groups.
Pieter HUGO was astonished to see, accompanying the article, a photograph of a human skull on a church altar. 'The photograph was captioned 2004, 10 years after the genocide. According to the journalist, there was detritus from the genocide everywhere. This sparked a series of questions. Why had nobody cleaned it up yet? Why were there no international com-memorations? How does one regard landscape where this type of atrocity has occurred?'.
The last question most informs the book and guided Pieter HUGO's way of seeing and presenting what he saw. There are photographs of human skulls – as well as bones and bodies covered in lime – in the book, but there are also images of landscapes where unspeakably bad things happened: a banana plantation, a rural football field, a view over serene Lake Kivu.
The accompanying captions hint at the full horror lying latent in these seemingly innocent places: 'Those who tried to hide in plantations were hunted down'; 'Once in the (soccer) stadium, no one was allowed to leave … the massacre began on 18 April, with grenades thrown into the crowds'; 'an unaccountable number of people were drowned in rivers and lakes which were also used to dump rotting bodies'." (publisher's note, © Oodee, 2011)
About the photographer, Pieter HUGO (b.1976):
Pieter HUGO was born and lives in Cape Town. He is the winner of the KLM Paul Huf Award 2008 and the Discovery Award 2008 at the Rencontres d'Arles Festival.
His previous books include:
'Looking Aside' (2006),
'Messina/Musina' (2007) and
'The Hyena & Other Men' (2007),
'Permanent Error' (2011)
'There's a Place in Hell for Me and My Friends' (2011)
'This must be the place' (2012)
'Flat Noodle Soup' (2016)
'Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea' (2017)
'La Cucaracha' (2019)
- Pieter HUGO (South Africa)
- Linda Melvern
- Book design
- Damien POULAIN
- Linen bound HC (no dust jacket, as issued), 24 x 28 x 1,5 cm., 72 pp., color ills.
- Year of Release
- Oodee, UK
- Print run details
- Ltd. to 500 copies