Peter Hugo’s ‘Portraits of Reconciliation’; a photographic analysis

A particular photograph that stood out to me was one in which a lady sat with her family’s killer behind, after having forgiven him and allowing him to work for her.

Cansilde Kampundu’s crossed arms and tired eyes show the pain and suffering she has gone through. She has clearly suffered many years of grief and heartache but has evidently reached a stage of forgiveness in her life, in order to move on. Her strong posture and folded arms also suggest she is a hard worker, disciplined and strong-willed. Overall, she seems to have taken the pain in her life and turned it into strength and power; traits echoed in her ability to forgive the perpetrator.

Juvenal Nzabamwita holds almost a smug and content expression. It is almost as if he appears to feel content with himself, knowing that he has been granted forgiveness. There appears to be little remorse for his actions in his position. His demeanour is relaxed and settled, again supporting these ideas. It is possible that he feels that he has ‘done his time’, and as a result, can move on and be forgiven.

The article can be found below:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/04/06/magazine/06-pieter-hugo-rwanda-portraits.html?_r=0