The agreement to take a photo alongside a perpetrator shows one element of forgiveness. In this stage forgiveness, both the survivor and the perpetrator come to terms and the acceptance that in order to move forward they must at least try to work their differences. Body language revealed in the photos presents the other major stage of forgiveness. Under body language, numerous degrees of forgiveness can be inferred from; It poses, distance, closeness, facial expression and coziness among others. Jean Pierre and Viviane's photo shows a comfortable and fewer formal photo pose. Interpreting this photo could mean that the perpetrator is remorseful for his actions due to his ambience and facial expression.
On the other hand, the survivor by placing her hand on his back signifies her willingness to forgive the perpetrator. Contrasting the Jean Pierre photo discussed above with the Deogratias Habyarimana and Cesarie Mukabutera photo, one clearly gets the feeling that, the crossing of hands and the distance between the two, shows that forgiveness is still a work in progress and has not been achieved totally. The feeling of coziness and relaxation in a photo is one that presents a completely new level of forgiveness. The visual feeling evoked by Juvenal Nzabamwita with Cansilde Kampundu photo and that of Dominique Ndahimana with Cansilde Munganyinka shows closeness. Further the relaxed atmosphere and body contacts in the picture shows the bond of willful (Robert, 2009).friendship upon forgiveness.
Deogratias Habyarimana and Cesarie Mukabutera picture are one that shows two people both crossing their hands and standing apart with nobody contact. The visual effect of this particular picture presents persons that are not completely open and uncomfortable with each other. As the common phrase goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, this picture is no different. The text after Deogratias Habyarimana and Cesarie Mukabutera photo suggest that the perpetrators need to be pardoned by the president on the precondition that he asks for forgiveness and pleads guilty led him to do so. The motivation to ask for forgiveness was not from within the perpetrator, rather due to his need to leave jail.
The survivor in this photo Cesarie Mukabutera is quoted saying that “It is not fair to avenge your beloved one” this presents a situation where she thinks revenge but for fairness, purposes discard it. She further says that time is an important factor to fully achieve forgiveness, hence the distance between them. The survivor according to the text sees a situation where she has to tolerate the people that did these bad things to her because they are all Rwandese. In this sense, the distance between them and the crossing of hands can be explained. The text below this photo does not change the visual effect communicated by this photograph but emphasizes it.
The definition of forgiveness accorded by Merriam Webster cannot be said to have to be completely realized in some pictures by the photographer. Elements of anger and blame can be traced in the body positions and poses of the survivors. In Laurent Nsabimana and Beatrice Mukarwambari photo, the perpetrator placing the hand on the survivor and showing the need to want forgiven faces a non-responsive survivor who just stands there and crosses her arms and keeps herself to herself(Robert, 2009).
Forgiveness according to Webster should show the survivor respond positively towards this gesture. Deogratias Habyarimana and Cesarie Mukabutera also present a situation where the photographer did not quite capture the elements of forgiveness. This photograph, on the contrary, appears to capture two people forced to take a photo together, the distance between them shows that they are still unresolved conflicts (Robert, 2009) in their journey towards forgiveness. However, this cannot be said for all photographs. Some photos capture the true picture of forgiveness. Juvenal Nzabamwita and Cansilde Kampundu show a comfortable poses between the Survivor and the perpetrator. Jean Pierre Karenzi and Viviane Nyiramana show a Survivor well within the definition of Webster's idea forgiveness. Likewise, Dominique Ndahimana and Cansilde Munganyinka photo capture the presence of friendship and closeness by the holding of hands between the survivor and the perpetrator.
Robert U Akeret, (2009.) Photoanalysis; how to interpret the hidden psychological meaning of personal and public photographs P. H. Wyden; Book Club