Marcus Bleasdale - Rape of a Nation
Here's a moving slideshow on the Democratic Republic of Congo by Marcus Bleasdale.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is home to the deadliest war in the world today. An estimated 5.4 million people have died since 1998, the largest death toll since the Second World War, according to the International Rescue Committee (IRC).
IRC reports that as many as 45,000 people die each month in the Congo. Most deaths are due to easily preventable and curable conditions, such as malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia, malnutrition, and neonatal problems and are byproducts of a collapsed healthcare system and a devastated economy.
The people living in the mining towns of eastern Congo are among the worst off. Militia groups and government forces battle on a daily basis for control of the mineral-rich areas where they can exploit gold, coltan, cassiterite and diamonds.
After successive waves of fighting and ten years of war, there are no hospitals, few roads and limited NGO and UN presence because it is too dangerous to work in many of these regions. The West's desire for minerals and gems has contributed to a fundamental breakdown in the social structure.
People have sought minerals and gems for thousands of years so I don't think "The West" is the problem.
Originally Posted by film_guy
I do think blaming "The West" is a simplistic excuse.
Doesn't "The East" also buy minerals and gems?
Isn't China one of the largest investors in resource development/exploitation in Africa nowadays?
Last edited by copake_ham; 02-25-2008 at 10:33 PM. Click to view previous post history.
"The West" is not a simplistic excuse, it is the cause of most of the problems in Africa today. China is a relatively new player in this arena. The West started it, and now as China grows bigger and bigger, it's also flexing its muscles and trying to control more and more, further and further away (Sudan comes to mind). The story of Congo is indeed a very sad one. No one is willing to do anything about it because as long as there is fighting, someone can sell them weapons and buy their minerals at dirt-cheap prices. A peaceful DRC (and Africa) will be a problem for these agents of war.
The problem is further compounded by ethnic tensions left over from the genocide in Rwanda.
I've seen some of Marcus Bleasdale's work online and what he's been doing over the years is amazing. I wish I could see his work in person.