This photo is from near the city of Goma in eastern DR Congo. It was taken on election day in 2006, when the Congolese took part in their first democratic elections. There was a certain optimism that now they would finally be granted peace and stability and a better life.
Looking at the woman in red I can almost imagine that she is telling her friend: "Look, there's the future, see how bright it looks".
Unfortunately she was very wrong. Since 2006 this part of Congo, the Kivu region, has experienced nothing but more fighting, more violence, more misery. Women and children have, as always, been the main victims. According to UN estimates, last year more than 8 000 women were raped by soldiers - from various militias and the rag-tag Congolese army alike.
Critiques | Translate
emka (106662) 2010-08-19 15:09
Hi Gert, Excellent note as usual and beautiful photo. The landscape here is not what I imagine as Africa. Quite a lot of green, some fields in the background. And on this setting there is nice scene from everyday African life. The red shirt catches the eye.
daddo (27906) 2010-08-19 16:50
Hi Gert. Why is it that calamity visits some parts of the world so disproportionally so that one generation after another have no glimmer of hope? I like your note and its allusion to that fleeting hope which matches the gesture and expressions- apart from the little one who seems mistrustful of what is in store. Regards. Klaudio.
agjika (3177) 2010-08-19 18:15
It is such a sad story of this great and very African nation. I remember watching closely the news during the Mobutu and Cabila years.
Wonderful photo, I like the spash of cheery bright colours in that greeny background.
vishaal (1042) 2010-08-19 22:10
A very good capture of these colorfully dressed women but a sad story about them. I hope for a better future.
Nice colors and very good sharpness.
Regards my friend,
macondo (19806) 2010-08-20 0:15
It's a little known fact that the war in the DRC has cost more lives than any other conflict since WW2. What a desperate country.
Your shot is a beauty, with the clothes of these women standing out brilliantly against a background which becomes more and more hazy - like the future, perhaps. One even wonders if these three are still alive.
I always marvel at the way Africans can wear colorful clothes with such grace and to make the colours look so wonderful. Even in such god-forsaken places.
Thanks for this shot and excellent note.
saxo042 (37966) 2010-08-20 5:50
I notice that this is your seventh upload from DRC and, in my opinion, this is by far the best one of those. There are indeed some painting-like qualities in this image with all the colours and the fine composition. You have also included some interesting architecture as well as a very good note.
mikolaj_kawa (0) 2010-08-20 7:07
Hello Gert! Very interesting women with kid. Interesting scenery and background. Fine colours. Sophisticated composition. Good title and note. Great effect. Well done!
jasmis (58483) 2010-08-20 12:07
Interesting document of this land. Superb exotic scenery.
Regards my dear friend.
bukitgolfb301 (45115) 2010-08-20 16:48
Hello my dear Gert
So wonderful portarit/snap shot.
Yes this is your trade mark; portarit plus α.
But your tittle and note is also significant indeed.
Perfect stable/balanced framework and well considered organized composition as usual. Congratulation on your great job, thanks for sharing and have a good weekend!
Best regards, Takero
prabut (3548) 2010-08-21 7:14
You show us an interesting and exotic place for us. Excellent shot showing the ladies interested in something. Nice colored clothes ii temporary sheds in the background.
Everyday life in Africa.
Very good note.
Clementi (52514) 2010-08-22 0:08
una foto in pieno stile giornalista, le vicende di questo paese sembrano non finire mai, speriamo nel futuro....
bellissima immagine come sempre
gildasjan (43824) 2010-08-22 13:06
Très bon rendu naturel des expressions de cette scène réalisée au Congo.
BluSimo (9392) 2010-08-22 14:13
Good evening Gert
the pages of the history of this country are between most atrocious of the Story. it is difficult to say something, because the disaster is inconceivable, unimaginable. and the quiet ones of this moment, known like only a truce by your words, are defined and it is transformed indeed in the gesture that you have emphasized us, and in the red-symbol of woman's dress. to the center. a strong shot.
thanks for sharing,
marietom (34609) 2010-08-23 4:28
Jolies couleurs africaines, du moins pour les vêtements de ces dames. Une scène typique de ces pays.
Glint (6171) 2010-08-23 10:59
you have visited some fascinating yet sometimes desperate countries. Sometimes I have envied you but not here.You say you were not at ease here and this must have been a forewarning of what was to come.It is strange the way western media choses to report extensively some stories and not others. It is terrible to know of the statistics you quote. More terrible when these stats are personalised in an excellent photo like this.The bright clothes of these women stand out against the hazy bg and somehow tell us more about them as people.That their womanhood and dignity may have been violated is abhorrent.
eldancer1 (36343) 2010-08-23 13:18
Very nice capture of these lovely ladies who may not have that much future for now but they sure are very colorful. Great pov and dof with sharp details. Very nice colors. Well done, tfs.
Graal (103038) 2010-08-26 0:05
an interesting African reportage and portraits in one. Very nice colourful costumes. Good shot, well note also.
Have a nice day.
Kielia (24077) 2010-08-29 8:32
it was with great concern that I read your note.
The accompanying image is showing a fascinating landscape where the soil is obviously very fertile. It is a very atmospheric composition and the clothes of the persons are excellently contrasting with the hazy colors of the vegetation.
leo61 (0) 2010-09-25 6:47
A true title and good to see them in their every day enviroment.
Millions of Africans have no future,but I love it seeing them wearing these colorful cloth.
scroller (3445) 2010-10-06 8:18
Its truly a sad story. A country with so much richness and yet. The photo is well composed indeed. I noticed the fields in the background most probably not made by machines.
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annjackman (21903) 2010-11-05 2:10
I chose to comment on this one because your note and the picture together remind me that the Congo is a tough place. I wish that I had the courage to visit. I am always amazed that people in african countries, despite their poverty, very often dress beautifully. All three in your picture have taken so much care over their appearance - they keep so much dignity in desparate situations.
wolf38 (31296) 2011-10-14 12:26
Hello Gert. The Congo is also among the countries that are still on my white list. The photo tells a little story without words. I like the naturalness of this photo. This all looks very authentic. Well seen and presented. Rgds, Wolfgang.
Have a nice weekend.
serp2000 (45828) 2012-05-14 21:37
sad story. I remember I always wonder this name "Democratic Republic" and so terrible history of the country. An interesting title¬e and good illustration.
Have a good day!
Miguel82 (27752) 2013-08-02 4:02
A sad comment Gert but telling the dramatic situation in the eastern DR Congo, it's the same in Ituri area also
Vivid colors, I like these traditional dresses and nice landscape view in the bg
ourania (51079) 2014-02-12 8:41
a simple and attractive picture that acquires even more interest by your solemn note. It's intriguing to see the two ladies and the little girl are looking intensely at a sight we can't view and assess for ourselves. The interpretation you gave to the scene is straightforward and touching, the game of promises and delusions is one we've learned well too, only the consequences these people had to suffer are so much harsher. I like the way the three people stand out amid the green scenery. The little girl is the most incredulous of all. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a great evening,
iainsp (3298) 2016-11-29 4:33
A nicely composed, deeply political photograph. On one level it is a lovely capture of two women and a girl in traditional African attire, with good saturation on their outfits. On another level, the imposing, sky-less background and the positioning of the figures in the bottom third of the frame shows the humans being overpowered by their environment - metaphorically speaking, by their government and politicians. An impressive shot, thanks, Iain
- Copyright: Gert Holmertz (holmertz) (59044)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2006-07-30
- Categories: Daily Life, Decisive Moment
- Camera: Canon Digital Ixus 750
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): Favourite pictures I [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2010-08-19 13:32
- Favorites: 1 [view]