Intended Consequences: Rwandan Children Born of Rape
Photography by Jonathan Torgovnik
Bernstein Gallery, Princeton University
Exhibition dates: September 7 – November 13, 2009
Panel Discussion: Wednesday, October 28, 2009 from 4:30 to 6 p.m., Bowl 016, Robertson Hall, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs,
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ.
Panelists: Jonathan Torgovnik, Photographer; Carl Auerbach, Associate Professor of Psychology at Yeshiva University; Charli Carpenter, an Assistant Professor at the Department of Politics at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Panel Moderator: Stanley Katz, Professor of Public and International Affairs and Director of the Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies, Woodrow Wilson School
Public reception to follow panel discussion in the Bernstein Gallery at 6 p.m.
Contact: Kate Somers
Intended Consequences, photographs by Jonathan Torgovnik, is an extraordinary series of environmental portraits made in Rwanda of the women who were brutally raped during the genocide and the children they bore from their assailants. With support from Amnesty International, The Open Society Institute, and Foundation Rwanda, the Bernstein Gallery is enormously grateful to be able to share these important photographs with the Princeton community.
Traveling to Rwanda over the course of three years, Torgovnik photographed and interviewed survivors of the genocide. The mothers, many of whom contracted HIV/AIDS from the militiamen who raped them, feel unable to speak about their experiences, silenced by the shame of rape and the stigma of having a child from militiamen who in many cases also killed their entire family. Torgovnik has created a social justice campaign with this work, partnering with Amnesty International to give voice to the women, a matter that he feels is particularly pressing as history repeats itself in the Darfur region of Sudan, and The Democratic Republic of Congo. Through the exhibition of these striking images, accompanied with selected texts from the women’s testimonies, Torgovnik provides these women an opportunity to tell their unheard stories. For most of the women, this is the first time they have ever spoken out about what they experienced and the challenges they face today as a direct result of the violence inflicted on them.
Jonathan Torgovnik’s photographs have been widely exhibited and published in numerous international publications, including Newsweek, Aperture, GEO, Sunday Times Magazine, and Stern, among others. He has been a contract photographer for Newsweek magazine since 2005, and 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 the non-profit organization Foundation Rwanda. Torgovnik is the author of Bollywood Dreams, an exploration of the motion picture industry and its culture in India.
Aperture, a not-for-profit organization devoted to photography and the visual arts, has organized this traveling exhibition and produced the accompanying publication.