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Edel Rodriguez
RWANDA
posted:
The lead prosecutor of the Rwanda Genocide gave a speech at a law school here in the U.S. recently.  The school's Law Journal contacted me about doing a cover, an opener, and a smaller image that would accompany  the exact text from his speech.

The Rwanda genocide of 1994 was a horrible episode for the entire international community.  I had just begun working at TIME magazine at the time.  I was 23 years old.  I would see pictures that came in, unedited, and they were the worst things I've ever seen.  People were killed with clubs and machetes.  When it was all over, an estimated 800,000 people were dead and many other atrocities were comitted.  The UN pondered about what to do as all of this occurred.
Much of this is documented in the article I read.  The prosecutor explained how he will go about jailing the people that comitted these crimes.  I was allowed total freedom in depicting my thoughts on this period of history.

The first image is the article's opener image.  Civil war, depicted as a dog whose limbs have been cut but continues the killing by tying machetes to its body and using it as it's legs.  The dog walks along the landscape, continuing the killing.  Some of the pictures I saw at the time depicted people who had been cut themselves grabbing machetes and chasing down other people.  This is where the idea for this image came from.
DETAIL
Spot image
COVER
This is the cover image.  I wanted to portray a more hopeful outlook for the country.  A hand reaching out to a butterfly.
I've placed all my sketches for this project here to give people an idea of how I work.  I usually start drawing whatever comes into my head on one sheet of paper.  One image on top of the other.  I then do many separate sketches.  These sketches were done with charcoal and red pencil...
This was the World Press Photo of the year from 1994.  It was taken in Rwanda by James Nachtwey, one of TIME's photographers.  His work has always had an impact on me.   You can see more of his moving work here
This was an image I did a couple of years ago for a review of the film "Hotel Rwanda".  Everyone should see this film.
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