Unit 3 Assignment 3- Jamie Aciukewicz

Connection between Sontag and Gourevitch

I think that these two distinct texts tie in well together. Both examine the role of the outside onlooker, and the absence of action after witnessing atrocities. Sontag focuses more on the role of the individual, pushing people to question their own involvement or lack thereof, after viewing horrific images. She also talks about censorship in images, which usually favors the familiar to us. For example, photos of war that the United States participates in is usually much less gruesome, not depicting the dead or even much blood. However, on the contrary, photos of others tend to focus heavily on these things. Gourevitch focuses more on the role of the collective, the United States, the UN, and France. Despite adopting the genocide convention, designed to stop future Genocides, these groups played a crucial role in allowing the genocide to occur in Rwanda, acting as innocent bystanders in order to “protect” their own troops. The delayed response from nations with power not only enabled a genocide to be carried out but also gave the perpetrators the opportunity to twist the situation to where they became the victims. Once they were victims, world organizations were very quick to help and send support.  

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