Intimate enemy: images and voices of the Rwandan genocide


“What can I say to make you understand?”

This is the calm reply of one of the murderers (génocidaires) while being interviewed about his actions, motives and emotions, leading to his sudden participation in the killings in Rwanda in 1994.

Indeed, the “idea” of the spontaneous hundred-day mass genocide is impossible to envision with any sense of clarity. But this unforgettable and important book puts us face to face with many of the killers, the collaborators, and victims who survived. Each is photographed alone, with complete cooperation, and presented in a series of powerful portraits with no captions at all. Are we looking at a killer or a survivor, a leader or a follower? Surely this young child would not have been caught up in the madness and started to kill, would he?

In a series of transcribed interviews, in another part of the book, each unnamed person tells his personal story, in his own words, as directly as possible, in response to a series of questions asked by a probing journalist.

More here.