DARFUR/DARFUR at the Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queen's Park), as part of TIFF's Future Projections program, projected from dusk to 11 pm onto the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal and displayed in the lobby to September 17. 416-586-8000. Rating: NNNN
A new photo show brings the crisis in Darfur to street-level T.O.
The ravages of ecological disaster, structural inequality and political opportunism have resulted in the death of almost 450,000 Sudanese in Darfur from ongoing violence, displacement and disease.
The Sudanese government, a major player in the conflict, defiantly opposes UN intervention.
It's about to get worse. Of the 3.5 million people living in Darfur, it's estimated that 2.2 million are relying for their survival on humanitarian aid.
With the current African Union peace-keeping force spread thin and the government reluctant to change its ways, Sudan is facing a full-blown human catastrophe.
Curator Leslie Thomas collected images from the current situation, and multimedia artist David Bobrow designed this show. Eight photojournalists focus on the grim realities of the conflict as well as the intense beauty of Sudanese culture and daily life.
It still doesn't make for easy viewing. Images of death, displacement and violence dominate. Bodies both human and animal rot in the sun, unclaimed in the wake of fleeing villagers. A displaced grandmother, her face an iconic mask of endurance and defeat, presents a tattered I.D. card with her five-year-old grandson in tow.
At a refugee camp, crowds wait to fill gallon plastic jugs with muddy drinking water. Sudanese militias and rebel groups appear throughout, bristling with guns and thuggish bravado. Hastily abandoned villages burn to the ground.
This show is so gripping and the message so urgent that aesthetics are irrelevant. This is an important move to put the Darfur crisis in Toronto's face.