Behind the Lens
How dangerous is your work in the Congo?
There are always challenges working in a situation like that. It wasn’t Iraq or Afghanistan, but it was still a rebel war run by warlords. You get shot at by people who don’t know who you are or why you’re there. It can be challenging to get around and build trust. At one point, because we were outsiders, we were arrested by a group of rebels and were detained for a day.
Why do you keep going back?
Congo is a place you see on the news once every two years. And yet more people have died there than in any conflict since World War II—five and a half million. More than 90 percent of those deaths come from malnutrition and lack of access to health care. That’s just insane. I get so angry that there’s no action from governments around the world. I’m dumbfounded that the international community doesn’t do more.
Do you have hope?
I do. In 1991, at the end of the Cold War, there were only three free democracies in Africa. Now there are 25, of varying shades. Congo’s regime will become more of an exception than the norm.