Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Why we should care about the #Congo.

EDIT: On the advice of commeters here and on Twitter, I watched Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown episode in the Congo. It's a really well-made piece of film, I have to recommend it (it's 42 minutes long, and totally worth it).

I can't not share this.

The New York Times put this video on their homepage yesterday, and it mesmerized me. Congo: The Road to Ruin, was directed and filmed by Daniel McCabe, who started his career as a documentary photographer. The haunting images from this film (one that sticks with me is a father trying to keep his son quiet during some extremely loud tank fire, though his hands are occupied covering his own ears).

I admit, I am not an expert on the conflict in the Congo (or rather, the two Congos). But this sensitively-shot short film has compelled me to learn more, and try to figure out a way I can be helpful in a conflict that has killed millions of people.

So here's my first attempt to learn more - what do you think we should be talking about when we talk about the Congo?

-A quick history of the conflict

-More on the conflict from the Enough Project, a group that works to counter genocides and other crimes against humanity. They were founded by the International Crisis Group, so I trust their reporting. They also offer some actions you can take to help. (It took me under one minute to send a letter to my local congressional representative with their handy tool.)

-How the DRC's rebels attack civilians (this whole website is a great resource for information on African news, by the way - I used to used it when I worked with the International Institute for Justice and Development)

-Refugee camp conditions in eastern Congo

-Please consider donating to an international charity with a proven track record of providing relief to refugees. Personally, I used to work with Oxfam, and know that they don't accept any government/partisan money for their operations, so I feel confident recommending them.

(image via morgueFile)

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