“The Uncanny” is a documentary project made in the Democratic Republic of Congo following the elections in 2011. This story offers a vision of the country, as experienced from within. Through my photographs, I am trying to show the broad, collateral impact of the country’s long-running conflicts rather than the usual, “direct” hits.

This project arose from a need to see my country from a different point of view than the often-depicted crises. I used my familiarity with the surroundings to tap into the openness of local people, who were very willing to share their most private moments with me. This allowed me to depict my country intimately and subjectively. I am not trying to deliver the truth—I am merely striving to understand a peoples’ reality and to reconstruct my own.

—Léonard Pongo

Editor’s Note: Léonard Pongo’s photographs were shown at the Angkor Photography Festival and Workshops in 2014.