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Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda…
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Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak (vuoden 2007 painos)

– tekijä: Jean Hatzfeld (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1424148,967 (4.65)4
"To make the effort to understand what happened in Rwanda is a painful task that we have no right to shirk-it is part of being a moral adult." -Susan Sontag In the late 1990s, French author and journalist Jean Hatzfeld made several journeys into the hilly, marshy region of the Bugesera, one of the areas most devastated by the Rwandan genocide of April 1994, where an average of five out of six Tutsis were hacked to death with machete and spear by their Hutu neighbors and militiamen. In the villages of Nyamata and N'tarama, Hatzfeld interviewed fourteen survivors of the genocide, from orphan teenage farmers to the local social worker. For years the survivors had lived in a muteness as enigmatic as the silence of those who survived the Nazi concentration camps. In Life Laid Bare, they speak for those who are no longer alive to speak for themselves; they tell of the deaths of family and friends in the churches and marshes to which they fled, and they attempt to account for the reasons behind the Tutsi extermination. For many of the survivors "life has broken down," while for others, it has "stopped," and still others say that it "absolutely must go on." These horrific accounts of life at the very edge contrast with Hatzfeld's own sensitive and vivid descriptions of Rwanda's villages and countryside in peacetime. These voices of courage and resilience exemplify the indomitable human spirit, and they remind us of our own moral responsibility to bear witness to these atrocities and to never forget what can come to pass again. Winner of the Prix France Culture and the Prix Pierre Mille, Life Laid Bare allows us, in the author's own words, "to draw as close as we can get to the Rwandan genocide."… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:Kieran_Shakeshaft
Teoksen nimi:Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak
Kirjailijat:Jean Hatzfeld (Tekijä)
Info:Other Press (2007), 256 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):****
Avainsanoja:Non-Fiction, History, Primary Source, Genocide, Rwandan Genocide, Central African History, African History

Teoksen tarkat tiedot

Life Laid Bare (tekijä: Jean Hatzfeld)

Africa (110)
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näyttää 4/4
A very informative understanding of the Rwandan genocide from the victims’ perspectives. ( )
  RoxieT | Nov 9, 2019 |
http://wineandabook.com/2012/02/04/review-life-laid-bare-the-survivors-in-rwanda...

"I think, moreover, that no one will ever line up the truths of this mysterious tragedy and write them down--not the professors in Kigali and Europe, not the groups of intellectuals and politicians. Every explanation will give way on one side or another, like a wobbly table. A genocide is a poisonous bush that grows not from two or three roots, but from a whole tangle that has moldered underground without anyone noticing." ~Claudine Kayitesi, page 206

Journalist Jean Hatzfeld made several journeys to Bugesera in the late 1990s to interview the men, women and children who survived the Rwandan genocide, where 5 out of 6 Tutsis were brutally massacred by their Hutu neighbors over the period of several weeks. This book is a collection of those interviews where the survivors, in their own words, describe life before, during and since the genocide. Each survivor's story is preceded by Hatzfeld's delicate and vivid impressions of Bugesera's community.

What struck me most was the bravery, openness and honesty with which each survivor spoke, as each relayed their own history bare and tried to make sense of it. Some powerful quotes:

"In my memory, the genocide was yesterday, or rather, last year, and it will always be just last year, because I can detect no change that will allow time to return to its proper place." ~Edith Uwanyiligira, page 173.

"We wrapped our fears in the leaves of silence."~Berthe Mwanankabandi, page 183

"The genocide pushes into isolation those it could not push into death." ~Berthe Mwanankabandi, page 188

"We were forgotten by time, which must have continued to pass for others--Hutus, foreigners, animals--but no longer wished to pass for us."~Claudine Kayitesi, page 200

"A genocide is a film projected every day before the eyes of the survivors, and there's no point in interrupting it before the end." ~Sylvie Umubyeyi, page 222

"I feel that fear is eating away at the time luck has saved for us...[b]ecause if you linger too long with the fear of genocide, you lose hope. You lose what you have managed to salvage from life. You risk contamination from a different madness." ~Sylvie Umubyeyi, page 234

This collection is what I had hoped for when reading Burmese Refugees: Letters from the Thai-Burma Border. Hatzfeld does an incredible job creating the platform from which the survivors teach us about the best and worst of humanity. Powerful, moving and carefully wrought.

Just a word of advice: I chose this book as my subway read because it was compact...not a good call. I found myself frequently tearing up as I read each gripping account of survival. I'm not big on crying in public...little awkward for my fellow commuters!! Sorry about that!!

Rubric rating: 8. I'm looking forward to reading the companion piece Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak.
  jaclyn_michelle | Nov 29, 2012 |
Writer Philip Gourevitch has chosen to discuss Jean Hatzfeld’s Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak on FiveBooks as one of the top five on his subject - Rwanda, saying that:


"...The first book Hatzfeld wrote was based on the stories of a group of survivors who had spent the 100 days or so of the genocide hiding in these dense papyrus swamps near their home. They were being hunted there by a gang of killers from around their village, people whom they knew. What makes this a great book is not just its subject matter, but its style and its voice. Hatzfeld is obviously someone who spent a huge amount of time just hanging out in the village, in the bars, in the backyards, in the fields, with people who had had this experience – and he relates their stories with unmediated immediacy, and with great soul...."



The full interview is available here: http://five-books.com/interviews/philip-gourevitch ( )
  FiveBooks | Mar 16, 2010 |
This book is a moving testimony to the strength, grace, and poetry of the human spirit and memory in the worst, the absolute worst of times. Between Monday, April 11, 1994 and May 14 of that year, 50,000 of 59,000 Tutsis in the district of Nyamata in Rwanda were slaughtered by their neighbors, mostly by machete. The horrors and cruelty met by old and young, innocents, slaughtered in their homes, on the roads, in the woods, in the marshes, in the churches are beyond comprehension. And yet the survivors in this book tell elegant, honest, truths about their unbelievable ordeals. Jean Hatzfeld, the French journalist, who recorded these stories, as well as some of the killers' stories (Machete Season), and an update, The Antelope Strategy, is to be commended for shining a light on the luminous testimony of the survivors, allowing them to bear witness to the best and worst in the human spirit. ( )
  MarthaHuntley | Oct 2, 2009 |
näyttää 4/4
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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"To make the effort to understand what happened in Rwanda is a painful task that we have no right to shirk-it is part of being a moral adult." -Susan Sontag In the late 1990s, French author and journalist Jean Hatzfeld made several journeys into the hilly, marshy region of the Bugesera, one of the areas most devastated by the Rwandan genocide of April 1994, where an average of five out of six Tutsis were hacked to death with machete and spear by their Hutu neighbors and militiamen. In the villages of Nyamata and N'tarama, Hatzfeld interviewed fourteen survivors of the genocide, from orphan teenage farmers to the local social worker. For years the survivors had lived in a muteness as enigmatic as the silence of those who survived the Nazi concentration camps. In Life Laid Bare, they speak for those who are no longer alive to speak for themselves; they tell of the deaths of family and friends in the churches and marshes to which they fled, and they attempt to account for the reasons behind the Tutsi extermination. For many of the survivors "life has broken down," while for others, it has "stopped," and still others say that it "absolutely must go on." These horrific accounts of life at the very edge contrast with Hatzfeld's own sensitive and vivid descriptions of Rwanda's villages and countryside in peacetime. These voices of courage and resilience exemplify the indomitable human spirit, and they remind us of our own moral responsibility to bear witness to these atrocities and to never forget what can come to pass again. Winner of the Prix France Culture and the Prix Pierre Mille, Life Laid Bare allows us, in the author's own words, "to draw as close as we can get to the Rwandan genocide."

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