Art exhibit exposes horror of genocide

Sun Yat Sen Hall’s latest art exhibit is meant to raise awareness about genocide across the globe.
The exhibit, “These are 7,000,000 Bodies,” located in the Yeh Art Gallery, is on display until Oct. 24.
“These are 7,000,000 Bodies” is a photo documentary exhibit featuring the work of documentary photographers Jonathan Torgovnik, Marcus Bleasdale and Ron Haviv. Their photographs were taken in Rwanda, Congo, Darfur and Bosnia.
Torgovnik’s series, called “Intended Consequences,” features portraits of and interviews with victims of the Rwandan genocide of 1994. Bleasdale photographed the conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Haviv photographed the Balkan War of 1991-95. Bleasdale and Haviv have also photographed the conflict in Darfur.
The exhibit was originally scheduled to close Oct. 2, but was extended because of the response it received, said Parvez Moshin, the gallery director. An opening reception was held Tuesday, Sept. 15.
“Several hundred students have come to the gallery,” he said. “We’ve received such an overwhelming response to the exhibition, so it has been extended so that more students can come in and engage in this one of a kind experience.”
Professor Alex Morel, curator of the exhibition, said the subject matter of the exhibit has a big cultural impact.
“This isn’t a historical timeline, and these aren’t just stories about rape victims and their unwanted children,” he said. “It’s about the 21st century and how these events and people are still here today. There is still so much that we can do. Even the little things count.”
In his curator’s statement on the gallery’s Web site, Morel went into more detail about the reasons behind this exhibit.
“These are 7,000,000 Bodies is about crimes against humanity and genocide (official or unofficial) and about our failure to prevent these horrors,” he wrote.
“The exhibition addresses atrocities being committed right now, and during a recent past that feels like yesterday, a day that for that those who were affected still feels like today.”
Janile Patriarca, a freshman, said she thought the exhibit was “a real eye-opener.”
“It’s just so sad how these people are forced to live and experience these unimaginable events.”
The gallery is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.