Visions of Rwanda Photo Project
Thacien Kalinda participated in the 1994 genocide. According to his own confession, he was one of several men that killed Xaverina Niragire’s son. He was only nineteen years old at the time. Prior to his confession, Thacien never told anyone about the murder of Xaverina’s son.At the end of the genocide, he was arrested on suspicion of involvement in another murder. He was tried, found innocent and released. Although he was never convicted, he still carried the guilt of the murder of Xaverina’s son in his heart.
After his release, he voluntarily confessed to Xaverina about killing her son and asked for her forgiveness. She forgave him and the two have since formed a strong bond. Thacien now faces prosecution for the murder. His photographs show how Xaverina has helped him heal and his ability to help others in his community. The lake featured in some of his photos is the same lake in which Xaverina tried to drown herself after her family members were killed.