published in Granta
Hilsum's piece is both a history of the 1994 cholera epidemic in a refugee camp following the Rwandan Civil War and a form of personal reporting of what she came across while she was there. Written and published in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, it hits closer to home than it could have years before. The refugees in Zaire dying of cholera were Hutus, most likely those that participated in the genocide of Tutsis just weeks before. Hilsum questioned if "the disease was a kind of divine retribution - collective punishment for a collective crime."
59 days ago