On the road from Bikoro to Bokonda
A testimony of everyday Batwa Pygmies and Bantu life in the province of Equateur, Democratic Republic of Congo. Together with the villagers, themselves actors committed to contributing to our project, I depict through a series of images various themes, such as education, religion, the relationship between men and women, the role of the forest and globalization. My long term immersion in these villages and the resulting complicity with villagers is at the root of these “bush theatres” that are artistically driven but yet reflect fundamental social problems and development needs.
I grew up in this country that I love. I know very well these villages since, parallel to my photographic work, I have been offering for the last 2 years community-based and fair-trade adventure tours to meet at the discovery of these villagers. I have always been struck by the beauty, simplicity and dignity of daily life, despite all the hardship they face.
I also wanted to go beyond images conveyed by Western media and show a Congo that we are not used to see because too often buried in images of war. I specifically wanted to witness the peace that prevails in the West, a different reality than the Eastern Congo. A reality that Western media regularly focus on and, although dramatic, stigmatizes the whole country.