Shooting Dogs

“Genocide does not kill large numbers of people. Genocide kills individuals, it kills a mother, a father, a brother, a sister, a child, a parent, a grandparent, an uncle, an auntie. Genocide is often typified by the statistics of mass murder – a million Armenians, two million Cambodians, six million Jews, half-a-million Gypsies and what we’re trying to say here is that this is not about numbers. It’s about people. To me this display [of photographs] is almost like a room full of jewels, each image has so much individuality, personality, care, compassion and love and sorrow all mingled in. They’re unbearable and very real. They’re putting political history in a profoundly personal way and allow people to think and reflect on the personal rather than just the political and historical. They give the statistics a third dimension which actually then enriches the historical documents.”- Stephen Smith, Chairman of Aegis Trust

The Rwandan genocide has always been a story about numbers. From 7th April 1994 it is estimated 1,000,000 people were murdered, mostly Tutsi: 10,000 each day, 400 each hour, 7 each minute, 24 hours a day for 100 days. Over the past year, in the run-up to the 10th anniversary of the genocide, the British-based charity Aegis Trust have sent data collectors across Rwanda to help document the development, lived experiences, and aftermath of the genocide.

As of 6th March 1994, the data acquisitions team had interviewed 2,593 people and identified 18,885 victims’ names, 478 mass graves and 896 roadblock sites. They had also collected over 2,000 photographs of the victims.

Produced in the region in collaboration with Aegis, this project collated the images collected by the data acquisitions team, and created a series of collages using passport photographs, family snapshots and identity cards. A selection of the collages are reproduced here along with sample original scans, identified with the JPEG filename with which they were archived.

The title refers to the actions of UN soldiers in shooting at the stray dogs that scavenged the bodies of the dead.


You can search the full database of photographs collected by Aegis and KGM here.