Testimony and photographs from the Rwandan genocide, providing a rare look at both perpetrators and survivors.
In 1994, an interim government in Rwanda orchestrated one of the world's worst mass crimes: a 100-day extermination campaign that took half a million lives. At the time, Rwanda's genocide went largely unnoticed by the outside world. Today there is growing interest in the Rwandan experience as many discover the horror that took place and seek to understand how and why violence of this character and magnitude could have happened in our time.
Intimate Enemy is a rare entree into the logic, language, and imagery of Rwanda's violence. The book presents perpetrator testimony along with photographs of Rwandans, both perpetrators and survivors. The images and words are raw and unanalyzed; the reader is left to make sense of the killers and their would-be victims. Intimate Enemy challenges our assumptions about the genocide and about those who perpetrated it. It also prods us to consider how to represent and imagine violence on the scale of Rwanda.
Photographer Robert Lyons is the author of two notable books on Africa. Another Africa is an exploration, with writer Chinua Achebe, of the real Africa behind the stereotypes commonly held by Westerners; Egyptian Time is a collection of photographs of Egypt and its people, accompanied by Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz's short story "The Cradle."