The Silence.

Photographs by Gilles Peress.
Scalo, New York, 1995. 200 pp., 100 duotone illustrations, 6½x8½".

Magnum photographer Gilles Peress, renowned for his acclaimed Farewell to Bosnia, continues his project "Hate thy brother" in this book on the class war in Rwanda. This war is one of the most brutal and inhumane occurrences of the twentieth century, but somehow the actuality of the atrocity has been virtually unnoticed by the Western world.

Peress challenges every previous photo-documentary with the work in this book, and spares nothing. It is one of the most harrowing collections of photographs ever published, and it is impossible to experience it with the detachment of a historian.

Peress says of the situation in Rwanda: "The immensity of this crime is beyond our imagination and is only surpassed by the unbelievable indifference of the West and the developed nations who would have been able to intervene and prevent the crime...The question raised here is if man is fundamentally good or bad, if there is a possible redemption, if there can be compassion and solidarity."

As part of Peress' design for the book, the edges are dyed in black ink, making this an even more powerful object of death.

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