Tuesday, July 13, Susie Linfield was interviewed on the Australian radio show Late Night Live about her piece “Living with the Enemy”, which appeared in Guernica’s July 1 issue. The essay draws on the work of Holocaust survivor Jean Améry, who wrote that genocide and torture eventually lead to a loss of “trust in the world.” Linfield noticed echoes of Améry’s sentiments in the books of French journalist Jean Hatzfeld and photography of Jonathan Torgovnik, both of whom have extensively covered the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide. In an unprecedented situation, victims and perpetrators of the 1994 genocide often find themselves living next door to each other in the same community, literally side-by-side. Under such circumstances, Linfield declares any efforts at reconciliation to be futile. “[Genocide is a] negation of the human,” she said in the interview. “Until that is recognized, words like ‘reconciliation’ are a bit too easy, a bit too glib.” The full interview can be heard below.
The interview can also be heard on the Late Night Live website.