A very ordinary picture of curiously smiling kids, excited to be in front of a camera. But this is from the Goma area in North Kivu province, eastern DR Congo, once again in the news as soldiers and rebels have dragged the area into chaos and violence, causing immeasurable suffering to the civilian population.
This picture was taken at a polling station on election day in July 2006, when the Congolese people hoped that a democratically elected government would finally bring peace and stability to their country. But stability has never reached the distant Kivu area, where the government has been unable, or unwilling, to control the undisciplined army and the ruthless warlords. The United Nations have been equally unable to protect the population.
So for a brief period these kids had a chance to smile and play. Life is less fun today.
Critiques | Translate
scroller (3445) 2008-11-01 2:23
Happy people for a short moment. Thooses colours on the dresses and skirts sin behind makes me belive that its important and a big day, wich it should be, with the election this perticuar day.
Buin (42366) 2008-11-01 2:23
Good morning Gert!
Yes, it's a drama what happens to these people. The communtiy of nations - which actually isn't one - isn't able to pacify this region of Africa. The faces of these boys are so funny and somehow intriguing...
A thought provoking and important contribution to TE!
Greetings from gray and cool Germany!
BennyV (14973) 2008-11-01 3:02
A very ordinary picture, as you say, but the story, the environment, Goma...makes it a very, very special one. It sure stands out among the typical tourist shots here. I really appreciate this upload.
dareco (17134) 2008-11-01 4:36
A very interesting note to read as I have a sponsored child in this place for quite sometime now. I would love to travel to see her, but I'm told it is not safe. I love the colorful clothing and the happy expressions. TFS
saxo042 (37730) 2008-11-01 9:19
A very current photo and as such a very interesting contribution to TE! The colours are very good, it certainly does not have to be a scan from an old Kodachrome slide to bring out good colours.
fanni (14381) 2008-11-01 11:25
as usual, a very good photo portraying people - their mood (especially the mood of the moment), their emotions and a bit of inner world. It's easier to take photos of children: they don't try to pretend, they are sincere - if they they feel happy and/or curious they will not hide it.
Very nice shot. I hope nothing bad has happened to these kids.
Concerning the "technical aspects" of the photo - I like the warm colour gamma!
Kielia (24077) 2008-11-01 11:28
it is this joyful expression on the faces that makes me sad. Right now the future does not seem to be promising for them. A very good contribution in the best spirit of TE!
sarahnatalie (697) 2008-11-05 20:38
This is a very powerful image especially in light of what is going on in this region these days. The events that have unfolded in Rwanda/DRC area are very difficult to process and very unfortunate. This is a photo that shows hope; in spite of the obvious poverty, the children do look happy and ready for a better future. I hope they can find one.
cyrrhus (2878) 2008-11-11 16:16
Thanks for this picture from Goma. A pity there are not more posts from Congo here on TE... that would help give a more realistic picture of our earth.
Not surprising to see smiling kids there... you know how they are! Running, joking, smiling and luckily not caring too much for the troubles around them. Every day is worth living.
TEchnically I would have focussed on the two kids at the left with the woman in the rear... a pity though the adult's head are cut...
mondele (823) 2008-11-20 12:24
Je suis allé ā Goma en 1991 et ce n'est pas sans émotion que je regarde cette photographie. Quand on pense ā ce qu'il se passe actuellement dans cette ville et dans cette province...
Ceci dit, ces regards et ces sourires sont magnifiques. J'aime beaucoup cette photographie.
pawelx (11) 2009-02-02 1:34
Hello Gert, I always make a point of checking out people's photos from not very frequently visited places, and DRC certainly is a place like this. Nice piece of reportage job, and an interesting note that goes with it. Very good shot, too, the only thing that I can think of improving is the rather large empty space at the bottom of your frame. Otherwise, a very interesting and good photo! Regards, Pawel