Gwydyr Rd, Crieff, UK, PH7 4BS

The 'F-Word' Exhibition and the story of Ginn and Letlapa

21 Nov 2007

The 'F-Word' exhibition has moved on and Ginn and Letlapa have gone home to South Africa. But we're keeping this page up to remind us of this special week and in case anyone else out there stumbles upon it and would like to do something similar.

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A few thoughts from the exhibition and being taxi-driver for Ginn and Letlapa...

  • I don't know how many people came to the exhibition - we haven't sorted out all our bits of paper yet - but I do know that when I was on duty there wasn't a single person who was unmoved by what they saw. People were spending an average of 45 minutes looking at the pictures and reading the stories.
  • I got to be taxi-driver for Ginn and Letlapa as we went from the BBC to the Daily Record to Glasgow Cathedral to the local schools as they told their story. It was a privilege to be there.
Conclusions? Forgiveness is hard. The stories in the exhibition and the experiences of Ginn and Letlapa are hard. There wasn't a hint of Hollywood or, dare I say it, Uncle Arthur's Bedtime Stories in any of it. Forgiveness is a sheer bloody-minded hard principle practiced by people who, sometimes, really didn't want to forgive but felt they had to. To quote Llew Edwards, the minster of Crieff Adventist Church: "if individuals from all walks of life and beliefs can display such depths of grace should it not be an objective of the community of forgiven people, that we call church, to do the same. There have been a number of people who have said that they would never have stepped inside a church except for this exhibition. What an absolute privilege to have had atheists, Buddhists and secular people associate our church with the grace of forgiveness."

My lasting memory will be sitting with Letlapa, a man described on our TV screens as a terrorist back in 1993, watching the Scotland vs Italy football match and shouting at the referee like normal blokes do.

Steve Logan

The Forgiveness Project Exhibition, 'The F-Word: Images of Forgiveness', was in Crieff from November 13th - 20th 2007. The 'F-Word' is an exhibition of photographs with accompanying text telling the stories of people involved in astonishing acts of forgiveness.

Ginn Fourie and Letlapa Mphahlele To accompany the exhibition Ginn Fourie and Letlapa Mphahlele from South Africa were our special guests during the week. Ginn's daughter, Lyndi, was killed in 1993 in an attack in a Cape Town bar. Letlapa Mphahlele was at the time the Director of Operations of Apla (Azanian Peoples Liberation Army) and had ordered this attack. They met and somehow reconciled themselves. Their moving story forms part of the Exhibition and they gave a public lecture in Crieff on Friday November 16th.


What is the 'F-Word'?

To quote from Marina Cantacuzino, the founder of the Forgiveness Project:

Forgiveness is an inspiring, complex, exasperating subject, which provokes strong feeling in just about everyone. Having spent all last year collecting stories of reconciliation and forgiveness for an exhibition of words and images which I have created with the photographer Brian Moody, I began to see that for many people we met forgiveness is no soft option, but the ultimate revenge. For many it is a liberating route out of victimhood, a choice, a process, the final victory over those who have done you harm. The exhibition tells some extraordinary stories - stories of victims who have become friends with perpetrators, murderers who have turned their mind to peace building. As I talked to friends, colleagues and strangers about this exhibition, I began to notice two very different reactions. There are those who see forgiveness as an immensely noble and humbling response to atrocity - and those who simply laugh it out of court. For the first group, forgiveness is a value strong enough to put an end to the tit-for-tat settling of scores that has wreaked havoc over generations. But for the second group, forgiveness is just a copout, a weak gesture, which lets the violator off the hook and encourages only further violence. This is why we called the exhibition The F Word. For some people forgiveness is a very dirty word indeed.
  • More information on the Project and the Exhibition can be found at www.theforgivenessproject.com.
  • The exhibition and lecture were organised by Llewellyn Edwards and Steve Logan, both members of the Crieff Seventh-day Adventist Church, however the Project is not explicitly religious and makes efforts to distance itself from any particular religious or political stance.

Where/When?

The exhibition was at

Crieff Adventist Church
Gwydyr Rd
Crieff
PH7 4BS
(see map)

from Tuesday 13th to Monday 20th of November 2007, 10am to 8pm (11pm on Fri 16th), admission free.

Ginn and Letlapa addressed a public meeting on Friday 16th November at 7:30pm in

Crieff Parish Church (St Michaels)
Strathearn Terrace
Crieff
(see map)

Contact?

Steve Logan, 01764-650085 or Llewellyn Edwards, 01764-652596. Or send an email to fword@crieffadventist.org.uk.