Jonathan Torgovnik, Intended Consequences, Mediastorm

Photographer Jonathan Torgovnik kicked off the first Photocentric Day at CEPIC (Center of the Picture Industry) with his deeply moving story about his Rwanda photo-project, Intended Consequences

Jonathan Torgovnik’s early morning presentation of his Intended Consequences project was an emotionally affecting opener to the first ever Photocentric day at CEPIC. 

Torgovnik reflected on his photo-project, about victims of the Rwanda genocide, a story of how photojournalism became a cause, then a vehicle to raise money for survivors of brutality so barbaric that the witness stories stretched your mind as to what darkness human beings could descend to.

It was also a story about photography enabling this mind-numbing story to reach a wider public. Torgovnik created a multi-media version which garnered a massive web audience. But how would mainstream media respond to such a harrowing story?

It turned out that Torgovnik’s photo portraits opened the door, as editors found that his powerful portraits gave a human face to suffering that seemed unimaginable. His work was published in Stern, the Telegraph in London, Newsweek, and El Pais.

As it was being published for the first time in Stern he decided to chance his arm and see if he could raise some money for Rwanda victims. That first article generated 150,000 Euros, which Torgovnik initially put in a foundation, until he was better informed about the best way to help.

The most emotionally difficult part of the story were the rapes of women, and the witness stories from the mothers and the children conceived, which this writer recalling even now, has tears welling up.

Torgivnik heard from the mothers that the key to psychological well-being was education for the children and psychological and medical helps for the mums. Providing  education, with kids being able to provide for the future of their communities, is part of tje purpose of his Foundation Rwanda.

Intended Consequences was a deeply human start to CEPIC. Both a reminder of the power of photography to make the world a little bit better, and giving a little bit of perspective to all of us there about professional issues.  That perspective helped shape the generosity of spirit that infused Photocentric day.

Intended Consequences on Mediastorm

Click for more on Foundation Rwanda


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