Congo Stories - Battling five centuries of exploitation and greed Congo Stories - Battling five centuries of exploitation and greed

Written by

JOHN PRENDERGAST & FIDEL BAFILEMBA

With foreword by SORAYA AZIZ SOULEYMANE, postscript by DAVE EGGERS, afterword by CHOUCHOU NAMEGABE, illustrations by SAM ILUS, and photographs by RYAN GOSLING

Written by

JOHN PRENDERGAST & FIDEL BAFILEMBA

With foreword by SORAYA AZIZ SOULEYMANE, postscript by DAVE EGGERS, afterword by CHOUCHOU NAMEGABE, illustrations by SAM ILUS, and photographs by RYAN GOSLING

About the Book

For five centuries right up to the present, Americans and Europeans have benefited enormously from an astonishing history of exploitation of the people and natural resources of a country in the heart of Africa: the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  The people of Congo are fighting back, risking their lives to resist and alter the deadly status quo. And human rights movements led by young people in the U.S. and Europe are supporting those Congolese change-makers. As a result, the way the world deals with Congo is finally changing.

Fidel Bafilemba, Ryan Gosling and John Prendergast traveled to Congo in order to better understand that history and to document stories of Congolese upstanders who are building a better future for their country, and young Congolese overcoming enormous odds just to go to school and care for their families.

Through Gosling’s photographs of Congolese daily life, Bafilemba’s profiles of heroic Congolese activists, and Prendergast’s narratives of the extraordinary history and evolving social movements that directly link Congo with the United States and Europe, CONGO STORIES provides windows into the history, the people, the challenges, the possibilities, and the movements that are impacting the course of Congo’s destiny.

The Upstander Fund

100 percent of the authors’ proceeds from the book will go to support Congolese Upstanders working for peace and human rights in Congo.

Many want to help but don’t know where to start. The book will link you to a vast network of Congolese and friends of Congo who unite to build awareness, change policy, and support local initiatives. Be part of the story, be part of the change.

Soraya Aziz Souleymane

We’re fighting for generations to come! We’re aware that the struggle is a long process, but it’s upon me to fight for those generations to come.

Rebecca Kabugho

Successes that stick with me are those we achieve when a woman comes to us crying and saying she no longer wants to live. ‘I must die. I’m nothing. I’ve been abused.’ But after we have attend to her, she realizes that she is an integral woman and feels confident and decides to fight for herself. That is our success!

Justine Masika

Women in particular pay the heaviest price of these repeated wars, disasters, and violence. Strong and enduring, they have always fought for the survival of the community and never given up. They never gave up working, never gave up taking care of their family. They even never gave up smiling! And that is the foundation of my hope.

Chouchou Namegabe

Contributors

  • Coauthor

    Fidel Bafilemba is a Congolese field researcher who coordinates a civil society network called GATT-RN.

  • Coauthor

    John Prendergast is a New York Times bestselling author who founded and runs both the Enough Project and the Sentry.

  • Photography

    Ryan Gosling is an actor and filmmaker.

  • Afterword

    Chouchou Namegabe is a Congolese journalist.

  • Foreword

    Soraya Aziz Souleymane is a Congolese development specialist.

  • Postscript

    Dave Eggers is a writer and co-founder of the International Congress of Youth Voices.

  • Illustrations

    Sam Ilus is a Congolese artist.

  • Additional Content

    Sasha Lezhnev is a Congo analyst.

  • Additional Content

    Annie Callaway is a human rights advocate.

  • Additional Content

    Dr. Namegabe Murhbazi is a Congolese children’s rights advocate.

  • Additional Content

    Holly Dranginis is a human rights lawyer and policy analyst.