James Nachtwey, «Survivor of a Hutu death camp»

This photograph of a young Hutu man who had been repeatedly attacked with a machete thus becomes an accusation towards the West for having closed its eyes to the humanitarian catastrophe that was happening in Rwanda. From 6 April to mid-July 1994, in just one hundred days, more than 800,000 people-the majority of them Tutsis-were systematically slaughtered. Following the genocide, over a million people fled from Rwanda to Zaire, creating one of the largest refugee camps in history. Nachtwey was there, and shot a chilling series of images. The man in the photograph managed to survive after being freed and treated by the Red Cross. Nachtwey closes in tightly on his violated face, which has been reduced to matter, flesh and scars. That face is a denunciation: ‘What allows me to overcome the emotional obstacles inherent in my work is the belief that when people are confronted by images that evoke compassion, they will continue to respond, no matter how exhausted, angry or frustrated they may be.’