During the Rwandan genocide in 1994 up to one million Tutsi were murdered by members of the Hutu tribe. Eighty percent of the women who survived were raped. Today, victims and perpetrators live side by side. Although women have gained social status since then, the rape victims and their children exist on the bottom rungs of the social hierarchy. Many young women, however, have managed to rescue their traumatized mothers and free them from the stigma. Their courage and optimism in a society under authoritarian rule and marred by trauma are unparalleled.
Rwandan Daughters depicts strong women who have overcome traumatic experiences. Olaf Heine (*1968) has captured this turning point and the reconciliation in impressive photographs, portraying mothers and daughters shoulder to shoulder at sites where the crimes occurred. Along with the photos, the volume features brief statements from the women about how they dealt with their experiences.