Travel Log 7: “Global Responsibility Part 1” by Elizabeth Marino. Barcelona, Spain

rwanda genocide cartoon.jpg

I chose the political cartoon called “She’s Waving Goodbye”. The cartoon depicts a skeleton like figure that represents the country and people of Rwanda. This figure is lying supine on the ground, with her arm struggling to stay up in the air. In the background there is a group of well-dressed people that come to the conclusion that her raised arm is a wave goodbye. The group responds with waves of their own. The cartoon includes dialogue such as “Does she want something?” The cartoon is in black and white with a very barren landscape. The group of people observing the figure representing Rwanda is standing far from the figure.

This political cartoon is about the lack of help given to resolving the genocide in Rwanda. In 1994, the Hutus killed hundreds of thousands of Tutsis in Rwanda. It is estimated that roughly 800,000 Tutsi men, women, and children were killed during this genocide. During the genocide rape was used frequently as a weapon. Many people were outraged at the lack of international involvement in resolving this crisis. The United States recognized the genocide was occurring without taking action to help the Tutsi.

This cartoon emphasizes this idea of lack of international aid for the Tutsi. The figure representing Rwanda is clearly on the verge of death, and the extended arm is reaching out for help. The dialogue from the group of bystanders expresses the opinion behind the drawing. One person says, “Yes. Indeed. As a concerned nation we ought not appear rude.” The sarcasm in this points out that other nations, specifically the U.S., are naïve in thinking that they are concerned if they aren’t even extending an arm to help end the genocide.

The most apparent human right being violated is Article 5 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. Everything that was done to the Tutsi during this genocide was cruel and inhumane. The figure lying on the ground is clearly in a state of extreme malnourishment and on the brink of death. This same right as well as others is violated again during the War in Darfur beginning in 2003. Many people are criticizing the lack of international intervention, just like for the genocide in Rwanda. People pointed out this similarity as a way to encourage international intervention.

“Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” United Nations. United Nations, 10 Dec. 1948. Web. 03 Mar. 2017.


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