Travel Log 7 “Global Responsibility” Part 1 by Rachel Marino. Florence, Italy

The cartoon I chose is the hand of a white man holding a pen, signing a sword that is stabbed into a sea of skulls and on the bottom is written “Rwanda.” Almost one million people died in the Rwandan genocide.   The Tutsi people consider France partially responsible for the genocide because they began as allies with the Hutu president and they were later accused of helping the extremists in their plans by delivering guns and allowing suspects to escape.  During the genocide, Belgium withdrew their army while France did not.  This cartoon displays the Tutsi’s view of France’s role in this genocide.  The artist aimed to convey France’s responsibility for the million deaths of the Tutsi people.  The artist chose a literal representation of the responsibility placed on France by taking a larger than life sword and placing it in a “field” of skulls of the people murdered in the genocide.


This shows a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights primarily because France disregarded the facts of what was going on in Rwanda at the time of the genocide.  This is blatant betrayal of the Tutsi people and this violates the first article of the Declaration of Human Rights by summing up the lives of the Tutsi as people who are unequal and who don’t deserve their lives to be protected.  Article Five reads, “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Article Six reads, “Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.”  These two articles intensely apply to the Rwandan genocide and the involvement or lack thereof from other countries.  There was an obvious violation of article five and article six permits other countries to acknowledge the people affected by the genocide before acknowledging the law, which boils down to: other countries should’ve stepped in to help.

Everyone capable should’ve been protecting the victims of the genocide.  The only reason they weren’t is because of the repercussions that could affect other countries, furthermore France should not have taken the side of the extremists.  The most pertinent recent example is the current conflict in Syria.  Still today, not much has changed.  No one has a foolproof solution to help the people of Syria and so everyone is hesitant, there’s no easy answer and so no one is making any decisions.  However, the people elected into office around the world weren’t elected there to sit and do nothing; they were hired to solve the tough problems and the fact that genocides like that of Rwanda, Darfur and Syria are still occurring just as badly as they always have, is a problem.


One thought on “Travel Log 7 “Global Responsibility” Part 1 by Rachel Marino. Florence, Italy

  1. I find this cartoon that you chose to be particularly pertinent to what happened in Rwanda. I found the most striking part of the documentary to be when they walked into the room filled to the brim with skulls. This was both striking and disturbing, to see in such a graphic manner the damage that was done, and injustices that were ignored.


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