Democratic Republic of Congo

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(1993, Goma) Daniel Buuma is a photojournalist based in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Buuma has spent years documenting the ongoing crisis of the people in DRC. His work spans various critical subjects, including the environment, society, economy, military conflicts, and culture. Through his photography, he brings attention to the complexities of these issues and amplifies the voices and experiences of those impacted by them. Buuma’s dedication to shedding light on important societal and global matters is seen in his storytelling, showcasing his commitment to creating impactful visual narratives. As a recipient of the Infonile grant in 2024, he continues to contribute to platforms like Everyday Nile, leveraging his talent to showcase the diverse stories and realities of communities along the Nile River basin. Daniel is an alumnus of VII Academy and the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop.

“Kivu Displaced”

In a shocking turn of events, the M23 rebels reignited their fight against the FARDC in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, causing chaos and displacement for millions of people in the region. The impact of this conflict has been devastating, with over seven million people forced to flee their homes in areas such as Masisi, Rutshuru, and Nyiragongo territories.  

Among the displaced population, children and women are the most vulnerable, struggling to find basic necessities such as food and clean water. The situation is particularly dire in and around Goma, where many displaced individuals have sought refuge in places like the Kanyarutshinya village, Nyiragongo territory, and the Mugunga quarter in Goma city itself.  

In these locations, camps are overflowing with displaced people in desperate need of assistance, with limited access to essential resources. The lack of proper sanitation facilities and medical care has raised concerns about the potential for disease outbreaks.  

Furthermore, experts within MONUSCO have reported that Rwanda is allegedly supporting the M23 rebel group operating in Nord-Kivu. This alleged support has only added fuel to the fire, exacerbating the already volatile situation in the region.  

As the conflict continues to escalate, it is imperative that the international community takes action to address the root causes of the conflict and provide much-needed assistance to the displaced population.  

“Dance for Peace”

In the midst of the devastating war in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, some artists and dancers have found a way to use their talents to bring attention to the suffering of millions of people in displaced camps. The conflict, fueled by the rebel group M23, has led to the control of territories such as Rutshuru, Masisi, and Nyiragongo by the rebels, leaving a trail of destruction and despair in its wake. 

 Despite the chaos and uncertainty surrounding them, these artists have taken a stand by using their art as a form of protest. They have taken to the streets of Goma, the capital city of Nord-Kivu, to perform and raise awareness about the dire situation facing their fellow citizens. 

Through their powerful and emotional performances, these artists convey the pain and suffering that the people of Eastern Congo are enduring. They use dance as a way to denounce the violence, displacement, and loss that have become all too common in their region.  

Their performances serve as a reminder of the resilience and strength of the Congolese people in the face of adversity. They are a call to action for the international community to do more to help those who have been affected by this conflict. 

My process begins with building relationship and gaining the trust of the displaced individuals in the camp.

Interview

What was your inspiration, process, and research?  

My inspiration for this report came from the experiences of people living in the displaced camps of Nord-Kivu in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, specifically in the city of Goma and the areas of Mugunga, Bulengo, and Kanyarutshinya. I was moved by their vulnerability and the unique challenges they faced, and I wanted to bring their stories to light through visual storytelling. My process began with building relationships and gaining the trust of the displaced individuals in the camp. spent time listening to their stories, understanding their daily lives, and documenting their experiences through photography. I conducted interviews and conversations with them to understand their perspectives and struggles. My research involved studying the socio-political context of the region. 

What do you hope to achieve with this project?

My hope is to shed light on the conditions and experiences of the displaced people in the camps in the eastern DRC. Through my images, I aim to bring attention to their struggles, resilience, and humanity in the face of displacement and adversity. hope to raise awareness about their specific needs and challenges and advocate for better support and resources for this vulnerable population. Ultimately, I want to give a voice to the people in the camps and spark empathy and action from viewers and decision-makers. 

Were you able to apply what you learned at VII Academy/Foundry Photojournalism Workshop to this project, and if so, how? 

Yes, I was able to apply what I learned at the VII Academy/Foundry Photojournalism workshops to this project. I applied the technical skills and approach that I learned during the workshops to capture powerful and compelling images for this project. Additionally, the workshops also helped me to develop a deeper understanding of storytelling photography, which I incorporated into this project to effectively convey the message and emotion behind the subject matter.