Intended Consequences

Intended Consequences

After 800,000 Rwandan Tutsis were massacred, thousands of surviving women contracted HIV and bore children as a result of being raped. (MediaStorm)

The 1994 Rwandan Genocide left nearly one million Tutsis dead in just 100 days. The systematic attempt to rid the country of Tutsis by the Hutu militia resulted in one of the most horrific massacres in recent history. This heartbreaking MediaStorm video tackles the issue of some of the most isolated survivors – the thousands of women who bore children as a result of rape during the genocide. An estimated 20,000 children were conceived by rape during this period and many of their mothers also contracted HIV. Now the women and their children find themselves ostracized by their families and distraught by the emotions of raising a child conceived in violence. Many of the mothers struggle to feel affection for their children, while others describe loving their children in spite of the circumstances.

This project combines powerful still photographs, video and audio interviews with women who continue to suffer the scars of this dreadful war. It includes an overview story, 16 individual women’s stories and an in-depth interview with photographer Jonathan Torgovnik, who was so deeply affected by the experience of working on this story that he and videographer Jules Shell started a foundation to help children born from rape in Rwanda.

Winner, Webby Award 2009, Documentary, Individual Episode category.

Nominee, Emmy Award 2009, New Approaches to News and Documentary category.

CHANNEL: MediaStorm

Length: 14:45

Photography & Interviews: Jonathan Torgovnik
Video: Jules Shell
Producer: Chad A. Stevens
Executive Producer: Brian Storm
Original Music: Pamela Chen & Sherman Jia
Graphics: Tim Klimowicz
Translation: Geoffrey Ngiruwonsanga
Narration: Rosette Adera, Yvette Rugasaguhunga, Hope Kantete