Chicago

Alfredo Jaar

Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP)

Half a century after the end of the Holocaust, Alfredo Jaar presented Real Pictures, a project that speaks of a more recent genocide—the massacre of close to one million Tursi in Rwanda. To his credit, Jaar raises the question of how such an “event” can be represented, while ruefully reminding us how unlikely it is that the word “Butare” will ever achieve anything like the resonance of “Auschwitz.”

For Real Pictures, Jaar sifted through the thousands of photographs he took during his journey through Rwanda, Zaire, and Uganda in the summer of 1994. He visited the massive refugee camps in Zaire, near the Rwandan border—testaments to the West’s delay in responding to the genocide of an African people—where he photographed those who escaped the Hutu only to fall victim to cholera or dysentery.

From these photographs, Jaar culled hundreds of images and printed them; all of these were included in

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