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Olaf Heine, Rwandan Daughters, Gloriose U. with her daughter Alice, Kigali, 2018, C-Print © Olaf Heine, 2019 Supported by Volkswagengroup Culture. Catalogue published by Hatje Cantz Berlin

Exhibition, Private collection

Exhibition 7 SEP 2019—22 FEB 2020
Opening 6 SEP 2019, 7—9pm

Rwandan Daughters by Olaf Heine

Almost a million people fell victim to the Rwandan Genocide of 1994, around 250,000 women were raped—systematic violence against women was a recurring means of male-dominated warfare in Rwanda as well as in many other war zones in the world. Today, perpetrators and victims live as next-door neighbors. And while women have become more influential within Rwandan society over the past 25 years, the rape victims and their children are still often marginalized, living with the stigma of widows and orphans. Today, it is the daughters of the raped women in particular who support their traumatized mothers and fight against this stigma—with incomparable courage and boundless optimism in a society marked by major trauma and authoritarian rule.

For the viewer, the Rwandan Daughters project is touching and unsettling in equal measure. It was made between 2017 and 2018 in close cooperation with ›ora‹, a children’s aid organization that has been working in Rwanda for years. A moving and intense project about memory, it celebrates the strength of Rwanda’s women. »How is it possible to develop love for a child who reminds you every day of the worst time of your life?« asks Heine. His documentation also shows that it is not always possible to forget and that mother-daughter relationships are not always unproblematic. In spite of this, the strength and willpower of these women build bridges to carry them over the horrors of the past.

On the book Rwandan Daughters Heine’s latest book, also titled Rwandan Daughters, was published in the spring. As well as the photographs, it contains various essays and short texts by the women themselves in which they describe how they deal with what they have experienced. (March 2019, Hatje Cantz, texts by Matthias Harder, Andrea Jeska, Antje Stahl, Olaf Heine, German/English, 208 pages, 78 plates, hardback, 24.80 x 33.50 cm, 60 euros, ISBN 978-3-7757-4547-5).

On Olaf Heine’s work The photographer Olaf Heine came to prominence through his work with internationally known recording artists like U2, Sting, and Coldplay, through his portraits of actors like Daniel Brühl, Thomas Kretschmann, and Don Cheadle, and through his photographic engagement with the work of the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. Today, Heine works as a photographer and director. Born in Hanover in 1968, he studied photography and design at the Lette-Verein in Berlin. His photographs have been published on countless album covers, in international magazines, and in the books Leaving the Comfort Zone (2008), I Love You but I’ve Chosen Rock (2010), Brazil (2014), and Rwandan Daughters (2019), as well as featuring in exhibitions at Camera Work (Berlin), Folkwang Museum (Essen), Noorderlicht (Groningen), and Icon Gallery (Los Angeles).