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#ArtUnitesCbus Film & Photography Exhibition

Ngabo Mutenda

Ngabo Mutenda is a Columbus-based photographer whose work has been featured in (614) Magazine. He grew up in the aftermath of the genocide in Rwanda, and had an interest in photography from early on in life, eventually buying his first camera when he moved to the U.S. in 2017.

I’m African (Rwandese) by birth and I grew up in a different culture that had its own stupidity, aka: tribalism. After I came to America it took me a long time to come to the understanding of racism and how it works. Thanks to the friends I have made here and the current events, I now have a better understanding of what it is and how it affects peoples’ everyday lives. After the murder of George Floyd, watching the video about it, and many other videos about racism, police brutality and economic inequalities between Caucasians and African Americans, I decided upon my stance. I didn’t care if Floyd disobeyed the law or was violent, that should not have led to his death. There is no human that should be treated in the way he was, regardless of his response to the cop who killed him. He should have been treated better than he was. No man should hold that much power just because of a badge and a gun. Knowing that even though I am African and have nothing to do with the past 400 years of American history I could be killed just like Floyd was. When he woke that morning, I can’t imagine that is how he saw his day playing out. He couldn’t breathe. He called out for his mother. No person should go through that type of pain and suffering when it could easily be avoided. Seeing people walk, chant, sing, and resist showed me that they are fighting for something, trying to make a right turn to whats being going wrong all along when nobody seemed to care. Seeing mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends and communities come together as one takes away my fear of living in a war I didn’t start and gives me hope that the future will be better than it looks today. So today I take photos of this history, not because I’m proud of it but as a reminder that what has happened should not happen at all by any means necessary.

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Venmo: @Ezra-Ngbo