I should have left for the Democratic Republic of the Congo a year ago. A year that has radically changed our daily life. Nobody could have imagined that a pandemic would have forced us in our countries, in our homes, far from our beloved ones, from hugs and kisses, from our work and passions, living twenty-four at a time, motionless.
Illness, isolation, uncertainty, economic hardship. The temptation to give up – and return what many of you donated to this project in the crowdfunding launched just a few weeks before the epidemic in a Chinese city became a global emergency – was strong, but the consciousness that looking beyond our borders is no even more crucial, stronger.
The pandemicc has exposed all the weaknesses in our economic systems, it has shown how much we depend on each other, but also that a society built on inequality is a fragile society.
Covid-19 containment measures have made it almost impossible to travel and they have also severely limited the ability of reporters to be on the ground, relegating to silence those emergencies, crises and conflicts already underreported. Emergencies, crises and conflicts that are not just the business of those who experience them firsthand.
The conditions of this reportage have radically changed and perhaps also my vision, but the goal is the same: go and see.
DRC is a vast and complex country, with an ancient and fascinating culture. It provides the world with so much of that air we breathe every day thanks to its fragile forest, is rich in precious minerals, biodiversity, languages and traditions, experiences of solidarity and examples of struggle and commitment. We only hear the echo of what’s happening in the heart of Africa, but an echo is not enough for the Congo not to continue to be just a story of war. We cannot allow ourselves to get used to a world where conflicts, famine and inequalities become habits.