Title: Truth and Lies: Stories from the Truth and ...
Publisher: New Press
Publication Date: 2002
Book Condition: Very good
Signed: Signed by Jillian Edelstein in ink on the title page
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.
About the Author:
Jillian Edelstein's photographs have been exhibited in London, Paris, and Johannesburg. She won the Visa d'Or at the International Festival of Photojournalism in Perpignan in 1997. Her portraits have been published in many periodicals including the New York Times Magazine, the [London] Sunday Times Magazine, National Geographic, and the New Yorker. She lives in London. Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela joined the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1996 as a member of the Human Rights Violations Committee and coordinated and chaired victims' public hearings in the Western Cape. She has been a visiting fellow at the University of Southern California, the University of Michigan, UCLA, and Harvard University, and is currently affiliated with the Center for the Study of Values in Public Life at the Harvard Divinity School.
Jillian Edelstein was born in Cape Town and began her career as a photographer on the Rand Daily Mail. She moved to London in 1985 and before long her images were appearing in leading publications including The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Vogue. Her celebrity sitters have included Daniel Day Lewis, Helena Bonham Carter and Jade Jagger.
Jillian has received several awards, including the UK Young Photographer of the Year (1986), Photographer Gallery Portrait Photographer of the Year (1990) and the Visa d’Or, photojournalism prize (1997).
Jillian’s documentary work on South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, featured in her book Truth and Lies, won the John Kobal Book Award in 2003.