EXHIBITION EVENTS

Jonathan Torgovnik & Heather McClintock
Intended Consequences: Rwandan Children Born of Rape
The Innocents: Casualties of the Civil War in Northern Uganda
Jan. 22 - March 13, 2010

The pairing of these exhibitions is intended to highlight humanitarian crises in two troubled African nations. In an effort to familiarize our audiences with aspects of history that do not often receive in-depth attention in conventional media, these exhibitions serve as examples of the College of Charleston’s campus-wide commitment to the discussion of international issues. The Halsey Institute will be a drop off for Better World Books for the duration of the exhibition. Better World Books supports book drives and collects used books and textbooks through a network of over 1,800 college campuses and partnerships with over 2,000 libraries nationwide. So far, the company has converted more than 25 million donated books into $7.3 million in funding for literacy and education. In the process, they’ve also diverted more than 13,000 tons of books from landfills. The Halsey Institute’s programming is funded in part by a major grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

TORGOVNIK GALLERY
MCCLINTOCK GALLERY

Jonathan Torgovnik
Intended Consequences: Rwandan Children Born of Rape

During the 1994 genocide, over one hundred thousand Rwandan women were subjected to massive sexual violence, perpetrated by members of the infamous Hutu militia groups known as the Interhamwe. Among the survivors, the most isolated are the women who have borne children as a result of being raped. Due to the stigma of rape and “having a child of the militia,” the communities and few surviving relatives of these women have largely shunned them. In February of 2006, Jonathan Torgovnik traveled to East Africa to report on a story for Newsweek, coinciding with the twenty-fifth anniversary of the outbreak of HIV/AIDS. While in Rwanda, he heard the testimony of Odette, a survivor who was raped during the Rwandan genocide, and as a result of the rape had a child and contracted HIV/AIDS. She described how her entire family had been killed, and recounted the terrible abuse she experienced. Odette’s horrific story led Torgovnik to return to Rwanda to work on a personal project about women like Odette, who were the victims of the same heinous crimes and who were left pregnant as a result. Over the next three years, he made repeated visits to photograph these women and their children, and record their heart-wrenching stories. Intended Consequences: Rwandan Children Born of Rape brings together Torgovnik’s powerful stories of these women. The exhibition on view is comprised of twenty-five stunning individual portraits of the women with their children accompanied by their testimonies—intensely personal accounts of the daily challenges they continue to face, and their conflicted feelings about raising a child who is a reminder of horrors endured.

Heather McClintock
The Innocents: Casualties of the Civil War in Northern Uganda

For more than twenty years, civil war in the north has claimed women and children as its primary victims. It is estimated that the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has abducted as many as 66,000 youths, wrenched them from their families and forced them to become soldiers, porters and sex slaves. Up to 80% of the LRA rebels are children below 20 years of age. Led by psychopath Joseph Kony, an Acholi who claims to defend the rights of all Acholi people by waging war against the Ugandan government in the name of the Ten Commandments, the LRA has instead inflicted grotesque carnage and senseless chaos on them. Yet, whilst protecting the population of the north, the Ugandan military has perpetrated it’s own share of massive human rights abuses. At the peak of the conflict, spread out over 80% of the region, two million Ugandans lived in massive squalid camps, lacking access to basic sanitation and resources, and hundreds of thousands still subsist in these camps today. Tens of thousands of defenseless civilians were butchered and cultural traditions were severely weakened. After years of stalled peace talks, failed military attempts to apprehend Kony (now indicted as a war criminal by the International Criminal Court), and Kony’s subsequent retraction and insurgency into other regions, northern Uganda may no longer be officially at war, but neither is it psychologically at peace. Beginning in the fall of 2005, McClintock lived in northern Uganda for just under a year, initially pursuing a desire to focus on humanitarian relief work through a photography program run out of Kampala. She felt trapped in a life where she wasn’t able to convey the passion and range of emotions that she felt about the world, and it is a delicate balance to convey both passion and rage, whilst not being sterilized by respectability and conformity. So she began weaving very tenuous threads of a new way of life, which led to months of travel throughout the northern part of the country where she learned firsthand of the ongoing civil war.

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