On the 30th of June 2010, the Democratic Republic of Congo will celebrate its 50th anniversary since independence from Belgium. Belgian photographer Carl De Keyzer, decided to undertake the long journey to the Congo following the path set by the "Guide Du Voyageur du Congo Belge", published in 1954.
Over six years (2003 - 2009) he made several trips and he visited the places where there used to be factories, missions, prisons, mines, military sites and harbours built by the Belgians that, today, are now either ruins that litter the Congo or serve identical or different purposes.
The portrait of the country that De Keyzer found is quite tough. In fact, from Mobuto’s Zaire to the Hutu militias in eastern Congo, the history of the country has been one of civil war and corruption. In spite of that Carl says: "In the Congo I was surprised to see that people still manage to retain an incredible joie de vivre. When you visit these places, it is as if nothing has happened."
Carl De Keyzer’s approach diverges substantially from that of press photographers. His vision is personal, not objective and can raise questions rather than supply answers. "I like visitors to my exhibitions to ask questions on leaving them. My projects are more like essays, novels or films." See for a slideshow ... & OUD-MISSIONARIS BEZOEKT EXPO OVER CONGO ...
See also ...
Cas Oorthuys - Guaranteed Real Dutch Congo - (Dutch/English/French)
Photography : Cas Oorthuys
Text : Lieve Joris
Design : Willem van Zoetendaal
ISBN : 90-72971-11-6
Size : 26 x 26cm.
The photo archives of Cas Oorthuys consist of over 550,000 negatives; among them about 7,000 negatives of Belgian Congo. Cas Oorthuys made these photographs in 1959, commissioned by the Belgian Government Information Service. Particularly photo's of people, but also of landscapes, rivers, cities, villages and jungles. In this book only photos of the inhabitants of Belgian Congo are included. 'The brilliant full-page black-and-white photographs show us the inhabitants of the country in the late fifties'. Lees verder ... & zie ookMensen aan de stroom : reisimpressies van Cas Oorthuys in Belgisch-Kongo, 1959 : foto-album = Gens du fleuve : impressions de voyage de Cas Oorthuys au Congo belge, 1959 : album de photos / samengesteld door D. Thuys van den Audenaerde & M. Creemers-Palmers.