Friday, September 16, 2005

so many things to post about.....

and so little time...

the first thing I will tell you about is a tree.

I was driving to work and heard a radio interview with a forensic archaeologist. She worked in, amongst other places, Iraq and Rwanda - studying sites of atrocities, mass burials etc.

In Rwanda, she went into a Church. She was shown a huge long coffin set into the ground.

She asked why it was so long.

There was a woman, raped using a tree. The perpetrators forced the tree so far into her, went right through her. She was buried with the tree inside her.

I could not get the image this telling created from my mind.

How big was the tree? How long did she live for? How could other human beings do this to her? And why do we not have more information about this horrendous war in the mainstream media?

I am determined to make time to find out more about the Rwanda genocide and the civil war. If anyone can suggest a good source please advise me..........

This made me think also about the power of the spoken word over the visual image. I realise I have become somewhat insensitive to colour TV news/ programmes - not entirely - I often get choked up at some of the things I see. But this personal direct telling of this story was much more powerful. Rather than an immediate shock, the image built up slowly and engaged me, before I could avoid it. Talking about this with a good friend, we though maybe this was because as human animals, the human voice is one of the first things we hear/ sense. So perhaps it is a more effective communication tool than 2D moving images.

I am going to see the Frida Kahlo exhibition at the Tate Modern tomorrow and am very aware of these ideas now. I wonder how it will affect my response to the paintings?


Winter said...

Oh God. Maybe this is one of those attrocities so unspeakable that people just don't know how to report it. I think you're right though that we get more easily hardened to visial images. I find increasingly that seeing the aftermath of bombs in Iraq has no emotional impact upon me although I know I should feel something.

Winter said...

But do tell us about the exhibition when you get back.

yclepta said...

wow, wow, WOW - I am knackered so I'll post about it tomorrow - but just so you're clear - it is amazing!!!!

Urban Chick said...

my god, how awful - what a horrible image that conjures up

and i think you're right, it seems more powerful 'hearing' it than 'seeing' it (although i can't imagine the TV news would go anywhere near the details of a story like that)

it's truly awful to think what some human beings will do to one another