This is Rwanda

TOM BOGAERT

Screenshot from video ‘Dog Day Afternoon’ (14:57, 2019)

During my residency at Ivuka Arts in Kigali, Rwanda in February/March 2019, I worked on a video shot from the back of a moto taxi. Essentially, it is a low production re-enactment of the 1994 ‘Bronco Chase’ in which O.J. Simpson led police in a low speed chase on a Los Angeles freeway in the now infamous white Ford Bronco. Simpson – a retired American Football star – had been a person of interest in the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman.

While the killing raged on in Rwanda in 1994, the O.J. Simpson case dominated the airwaves.

The project takes its name from the American crime drama film ‘Dog Day Afternoon,’ about a bank robbery on a hot summer afternoon in New York City. The title was mentioned by one of the reporters during the life broadcast of the O.J. Simpson chase and I use the soundtrack of the Bronco chase for the new video.

On the occasion of the 25th anniversaries of respectively the genocide in Rwanda and the O.J. Simpson case in the spring of 2019, I was artist-in-residence at Ivuka Arts in Kigali, Rwanda. With ‘Dog Day Afternoon,’ I hope to explore the Relativity of Simultaneity: the concept that distant simultaneity – whether two spatially separated events occur at the same time – is not absolute, but depends on the observer’s reference frame.