Intended Consequences; Rwandan Children Born of Rape
Intended Consequences by Jonathan Torgovnik is a series of environmental portraits made in Rwanda of women that were brutally raped during the Rwandan genocide and the children they bore from their assailants. Traveling to Rwanda over the course of three years, Torgovnik photographed and interviewed over fifty women survivors of the genocide, uncovering details of the heinous crimes committed against the mothers of these children. The mothers, many whom contracted HIV/AIDS from the militiamen that raped them, felt unable to speak about their experiences for many years, silenced by the shame of rape and having a child of militiamen who in many cases was also responsible for killing their entire families. Torgovnik partnered with several institutions to help give a voice to the women, a matter he feels is particularly pressing as history repeats itself in the Darfur region of Sudan, and in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Through this exhibition, accompanied with selected text 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. These mothers have lived through the most severe torture any human can endure, and in the aftermath they continue to struggle against multiple levels of trauma.
Jonathan Torgovnik graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York, where he studied Photography and Art. His photographs have been published in International publications including Time, Newsweek, The Sunday Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Aperture, Stern, and GEO. Torgovnik is the author of two books: Bollywood Dreams (Phaidon), and Intended Consequences (Aperture). His photographs have been included in solo and group exhibitions around the world and are in the permanent collections of museums and institutions such as The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Bibliotheque National De France, Paris. He has received honors and awards such as the prix découverte d'arles at the Rencontres d’Arles festival, the National Portrait Gallery Portrait Prize, the Open Society Institute Distribution Grant, Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography, the DuPont Journalism Award, and a World Press Photo award. Torgovnik is the co-founder of Foundation Rwanda an NGO that supports education for children born of rapes during the Rwandan genocide, and is on the faculty of the International Center of Photography School in New York. Jonathan is also the co-founder of Foundation Rwanda, an NGO that supports secondary school education for children born of rape during the Rwandan genocide. (www.foundationrwanda.org).