Truth and Lies: Stories from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa

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"Can you combine justice with forgiveness?" "In April 1996 an extraordinary process began in South Africa. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, under its chairman Archbishop Desmond Tutu, held its first public hearings to investigate over thirty years of human rights violations under apartheid. The Commission had been founded in the belief that truth was the only means by which the people of South Africa could come to a common understanding of their past, and that this understanding was necessary if the country was to forge a new national
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Overview

"Can you combine justice with forgiveness?" "In April 1996 an extraordinary process began in South Africa. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, under its chairman Archbishop Desmond Tutu, held its first public hearings to investigate over thirty years of human rights violations under apartheid. The Commission had been founded in the belief that truth was the only means by which the people of South Africa could come to a common understanding of their past, and that this understanding was necessary if the country was to forge a new national identity in the future. In the first two years more than 20,000 victims made statements to the commissioners and, encouraged by the possibility of amnesty, some 7,000 perpetrators came forward to confess their crimes. The TRC hearings took place in township halls, churches and civic centres all over South Africa. In many cases victims and perpetrators sat in the same room to give evidence." Jillian Edelstein spent four years travelling back and forth between London and South Africa attending hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission up and down the country. She set up her camera in makeshift studios in rooms next door to where the hearings were held and visited people at home in the townships or deep in the countryside to take their portraits and listen to their stories. What she brought back was a collective portrait of a country which, between the Sixties and the Nineties, was engaged in a vicious struggle in which thousands of people were abducted, tortured and killed. This book tells some of their stories. It is unique in that it puts faces to the personal testimonies of both victims and perpetrators. In the most direct way it documents one of the most important experiments in democratic justice attempted in the 20th century.
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Editorial Reviews

Gillian Slovo
[A] testimony to the necessity of looking at what happened.
Publishers Weekly
South African photographer Jillian Edelstein's stark, memorable black-and-white photographs are the centerpiece of Truth & Lies: Stories from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa. Between 1996 and 2000, Edelstein photographed dozens of victims, witnesses and perpetrators ANC activists, apartheid police officers and government officials, family members of those tortured and killed at the hearings and at their homes across South Africa. The photos are supplemented with the subjects' harrowing personal testimonies, Edelstein's crisp reportage and excerpts from the diary she kept throughout the project. (Apr. 1) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565847415
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 4/1/2002
  • Pages: 227
  • Product dimensions: 7.80 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.80 (d)

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