Today I had a chance to view Pieter Hugo's "1994" exhibition at Yossi Milo Gallery. The title references the year of the Rwandan genocide. Hugo photographed children born after that year. In many cases they are posed directly seated or reclining on the ground. Overall, the portraits come across as tender and hopeful, and yet there is an ominous quality to them as well. The clothing worn by the children can have a jarring and surreal effect; the ground enshrouds them like an open grave.
As I viewed these incredible portraits I couldn't help superimposing them onto another set of images: Gilles Peress' iconic document of the tragic events of 1994, which I printed repeatedly for his exhibitions when I worked for him in 1996/7.
I hope the future has better things in store for these kids than the past did for the previous generation.