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Lincoln Schatz: Samantha Power, Cube Portrait, Esquire's Portrait of the 21st Century, 2008
Samantha Power, award-winning journalist, anti-genocide advocate and Harvard University professor, recently participated in Esquire magazine’s "Portrait of the 21st Century." The project, a creation of sculptor and new-media artist Lincoln Schatz is "an evolving video portrait of the most influential people of the coming decades."
For her Cube portrait, Power and John Prendergast, founder of the Enough Project (enoughproject.org), gathered five genocide survivors: Perouz Kalousdian, a 99-year-old survivor of the Armenian genocide; Bernard Gotfryd, a Holocaust survivor; Sophy Yem, who survived Pol Pot’s “killing fields”; Jacqueline Murekatete, who narrowly survived the Rwandan genocide; and Motasim Adam, who escaped the ongoing genocide in Darfur. The green bracelets, which say, “Not on Our Watch,” represent the growing strength worldwide of the movement to eliminate genocide.
One of the world’s foremost advocates for victims of genocide, Samantha Power began her career in a war zone as a twenty-two-year-old journalist covering the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. Convinced she needed to do more than report the injustices she witnessed, she earned a law degree at Harvard, where she founded the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy in 1998.
She continued to write. In 2003 she earned a Pulitzer Prize for her book “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide. A study of modern genocides against Armenians, Jews, Cambodians, Iraqi Kurds, Bosnians, and Rwandans, the book examines the tragic consequences of the U.S. government’s repeated reluctance to prevent, suppress, or punish mass atrocity. Her most recent book, Chasing the Flame: One Man’s Fight to Save the World, is a biography of Sérgio Vieira de Mello, the UN trouble-shooter and peacemaker who was killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq.
Power worked as an advisor to Senator Barack Obama in 2005 and 2006, and then again for his 2008 campaign, advising the Democratic candidate on foreign policy. She is the Anna Lindh Professor of Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a columnist at Time magazine.
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