Portraits and stories of forgiveness 20 years after the genocide of Rwanda

the Portrait we have to analyse is the one of  Jean Pierre Karenzi the men who killed the father and three brothers of  Viviane Nyiramana, in his right, during the Rwandan genocide , photographed by Pieter Hugo two decades after the horrific event for the New York Times in an article called “Portraits of Reconciliation”.


What we can see in Viviane Nyiramana ’s face is forgiveness and confidence as she’s looking straight on to the camera with an impassive glance. We also notice it in the way she’s touching Jean Pierre’s back, as well as in the brightness of the colors she’s wearing. Two decades after he killed four members of her family she said I have granted him pardon, things have become normal, and in my mind I feel clear” after explained that he did these killings with other people, but came alone to ask for pardon.

We can feel that today Viviane is in peace with the past, she used to be afraid of him as she explained in the article of the New York time but now even if, as we can imagine, the past still maybe hurts, she granted him forgiveness.

Which is not the case of Jean Pierre Karenzi who seems to still be really ashamed and sad in front of his victim. he has a guilty look leaning down and is turning his back on her, which supports this sensations. Karenzia explained  in the interview that his conscience was not quiet, and when he would see her he was very ashamed so he finally asked her for forgiveness after being trained about unity and reconciliation. He made his best to try to redeem himself as for example, helping her to build a house with a covered roof with a group of offenders who had been in prison.

We can say that Jean Pierre Karenzi and Viviane Nyiramana are an example of reconciliation. This article shows the slow but true reconstruction of a nation after such a devastating event thanks to unity and reconciliation. The forgiveness of theses people gives to us a lesson, with this incredible act of courage, love and forgiveness are always stronger than hatred. Could you forgive the person who killed members of your family? These people did, for a better world. 


About taviot 39 Articles
I have grown up with two different cultures that have played a major role in shaping me into the person I am today. Coming from a mixed heritage has exposed me to different Oriental and Western traditions and ways of life which have helped me to have a certain open-mindedness. My two passions are volunteering and traveling. I have moved from Marrakech to London in 2018 for University.