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Our Man in Rwanda

( Size: 26" x 55" Oils )

The Negro head of a man represents a human being who lost reportedly 22 members of his close family in just a few hours of carnage. This took place in the morning, by late that same afternoon he too was murdered.

His awe-stricken grief moved me to immortalise him in paint
as a tribute to his existence.

Our Man in Rwanda

Subjects in the painting:

The painting incorporates Whales, Dolphins, Godheads, chance, illusion, religion, all relevant to his plight.

On a human scale this tragedy could have been averted. It has parallels with Pol-Pot's regime in Cambodia. What provokes a nation to rise up and wantonly butcher one another with such ferocity that it becomes endemic that genocide has become a pre-requisite in modern inter-civil wars ?

On a totally different parallel, though equal to the above, we are systematically annihilating the mammals of our seas. Over fishing, pollution, erosion and mineral extraction to name just a few. Man's existence on Earth will speed up the extinction of all species - unless the governments of the world act now the future outlook is bleak.

Both scenarios are cloaked in ethnic cleansing, religious overtones and suppression, greed, intolerance, supremacy and having ultimate powers.

Rwanda had very little the West desired, no oil, worthwhile strategic military sites etc., maybe this was the catalyst giving the perpetrators the edge.

And finally where were the leaders of the worlds religions ?

E.W.Powell, July 1998. Painting completed early 1996

Complexity comment:

Intolerance is largely a religious phenomenon. The hate shown by each sect to others, and even to varients within the same sect, sits extremely badly with the claim to follow a loving God. On what justification do worshipers of one sect sit in judgement on the others - do they think themselves already Gods ? Hate is self-reinforcing, a positive feedback loop, but then so is love. Choose, and answer:

Do your religious leaders practice what they preach
- or do they just look the other way (Luke 10, 30:37) ?

Page Version 1.1 October 1998