This is Rwanda

Plaine au Mille Souris: steel and rubber, 30 x 40 inches - 80 x 100 cm, 2009

Plaine au Mille Souris: steel and rubber, 30 x 40 inches - 80 x 100 cm, 2009

Plaine au Mille Souris (This is not Rwanda) refers to a Malthusian theory stating that the 1994 Rwanda genocide was the preordained result of the impersonal forces of poverty and overpopulation. The mice that overpopulate the picture plane are cast from the licorice candy that is distinct to Belgium and acknowledges Europe’s disastrous influence in African affairs.

In 1798 Thomas Malthus declared that “If there are too many people and not enough food, then, certainly, there are going to be problems […] as nature has a natural way to cut population levels: crime, disease, war, and vice".

The following is an extract from a report by Human Rights Watch about the genocide in Rwanda:

“The sweetly sickening odor of decomposing bodies hung over many parts of Rwanda in 1994 […] at least half a million people perished […] this genocide was not an uncontrollable outburst of rage by a people consumed by ‘ancient tribal hatreds.’ Nor was it the preordained result of the impersonal forces of poverty and over-population […] This genocide resulted from the deliberate choice of a modern elite to foster hatred and fear to keep itself in power.”