How do nations struggle with mass violence and the rule of law? How do communities work to achieve reconciliation, repair dispossession, and remember those lost? Genocide and mass violence, past and present, raise all of these complex concerns and more.
Like his colleague Otto Dix, George Grosz was profoundly influenced and deeply affected by serving in the army during World War I. He was admitted to a military asylum for the shell-shocked and insane just before the war ended. This painting is a haunting portrait of a fanatical Prussian general. Grosz made dozens of satirical drawings of the officer class.
Thirty-two pine replicas of caskets, each topped with a black cross and flowers, sit in the playground of Sabina Church in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood. The caskets, made by teenagers, represent the 32 Chicago Public Schools students who died from violence in 2008.
A Muslim widow examines body bags containing the remains of recently exhumed victims of the 1992 “ethnic cleansing” campaign waged by Serbs against their Muslim neighbors (July 2001). Exhumations of mass graves began in 1996 and are expected to last for many years to come. Nearly 30,000 Muslims—most of them civilians—were listed as missing at the end of the war; most are believed to have been victims of “ethnic cleansing.”
Ngaujah takes a break at a local restaurant, where he often rests during the day to escape from the heat on the streets. Usually he does not eat or drink during the day, saving the money he receives for his family. The only reason he is having a drink on this day is because a visitor bought it for him. Photograph by Sara Terry.
A woman cleans the blood of Jalil Speaks. The 16 year-old teenager was killed in front of Strawberry Mansion High School in North Philadelphia in 2004. Jalil Speaks was shot outside the school shortly after classes let out.
A woman holds a small Armenian bible during a service at the Holy Mother of God church in Vakifli, Turkey. Less than 30 Armenian families populate the small town and surrounding area, which is located near the Turkish border with Syria. Although Armenians are allowed to celebrate their traditions in Turkey, many fear asserting their ethnic origins, which means living in near silence to avoid trouble.