is an experience of daily life in several neighbourhoods of Congo DR's main cities. It is carried out by photographing families, local TV, political figures and church leaders and followers. This work shows a different side to the Congolese story: one of people living in the country’s urban neighbourhoods, far from the catastrophes and faced with different challenges. Instead of focusing on the country’s infamous crises and conflicts, it questions the country’s existence away from the episodic flashpoints of war and the conflicts brought up by experiencing this reality. For a place that is so often seen through images of devastation and disaster, this series offers an intimate, inside view of Congo: private moments captured for their emotional meaning.
When I started shooting, I covered the same places most photojournalists were covering for the elections. I tried to play their games and become part of my heritage, documenting, making proofs, analysing, as if photography could be the right tool for explaining the world. But the more I did it, the more conflictual and angry I got. Because I couldn't translate a truth, because I wasn't truly interested in living or sharing what I was seeing. I quickly realised that photographing Kamerhe (a big candidate to the presidentials of 2011) filling up his voting sheet in the poll had very little to do with reality as I see it, was not representative in any way of the intensity of what I was going through and seeing. What was hurting, shocking, impacting me was actually very little. It was to see an exploded family, humility, patience, aggressiveness, injustice, care, love and be able to see it all, look at it, be part of it despite who I was and where I came from.
The hardest blow is always to look at the images after I come back and realise the story I shot, not factual pieces but experiential ones. My attempts to produce visual mistakes, blurs, flashes, repeated failures serve to translate the congolese experience and the multiple blows in the face.
That is the Congo i wanted to tell, and which I believed to be eventually much more true than any well built analysis supported by visual evidence…