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February 27, 2009 Permalink

Portraits from the Congo

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), fighting continues among various rebel armies, tribes, the Congolese army and U.N. forces. The dire situation has prompted the government of DR Congo to ask for help, and invite the armies of neighboring South Sudan, Rwanda and Uganda to enter their territory on several joint operations, to hunt down and pacify or dismantle at least two major rebel armies operating in the lawless border region. Rebel leader Laurent Nkunda was captured in January by Rwandan forces, but his army is still active - and Ugandan troops are seeking out the rebel Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army, which has taken refuge in eastern DR Congo. Once more, caught in all of this are the local civilians, terrorized by fleeing and advancing troops of all kinds. Reuters photographer Finbarr O'Reilly has been traveling through the area, capturing some amazing photographs of the people involved. (38 photos total)

Ano Mboligikpelani, 12, holds her sister, Honrine Ngbadulezele, 2, in the village of Bangadi in northeastern Congo, February 19, 2009. Thousands of Congolese have fled their villages since December as Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army rebels roaming the bush carry out massacres that have killed some 900 civilians in northeastern Congo during the past two months. (REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly)
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177 comments so far...


Posted by Mau February 27, 09 12:32 PM

amazing collection, thank you

Posted by tr February 27, 09 12:34 PM

Wow those are awesome pictures. Thanks for sharing the places that I'll never get to go see. PS if I could I would take all those kids home with me. I hate they are suffering so!

Posted by Judy Dement February 27, 09 12:50 PM

Sad and brilliant

Posted by Avishek February 27, 09 12:51 PM

Great selection. thanks for sharing.
For more stories and photos from eastern Congo, check this site:

Posted by Bruno February 27, 09 12:52 PM

Wow, breathtaking pictures. These pictures let you almost feel there expresions. Nice and most sad pictures, well DONE!

Posted by February 27, 09 12:53 PM

#33 -- what a story

Posted by Z February 27, 09 12:55 PM

there are no words.

Posted by jessica February 27, 09 12:58 PM

I think i have no words right now.
Amazing photos.

Posted by Cess007 February 27, 09 01:01 PM

exelentes photos (comme toujours) qui nous reflettent bien la vie de la population congolaise

Posted by lyonsd February 27, 09 01:04 PM

Bravo, belle foto!

Posted by Girang February 27, 09 01:09 PM

there are no words. number 33 lead me to tears. stunning images

Posted by Elisa February 27, 09 01:12 PM

I can't imagine what these people have to suffer

Posted by Fonk February 27, 09 01:27 PM

Wow. These are beyond words. I look through the Big Picture every time, and this has to be one of the absolute top collections in recent months.


Posted by ezuk February 27, 09 01:29 PM

So much suffering, yet you can still see the love of life in some of these people's eyes... Touching...

Posted by Magzime February 27, 09 01:30 PM

30 - enough said.. very sad

Posted by tom S February 27, 09 01:34 PM

Everytime you buy a cellphone or support Capitalism, you are killing one of those. Have a good sleep.

Posted by KesheR February 27, 09 01:40 PM

Amazing photos. Breaks my heart.

Posted by Kandi February 27, 09 01:42 PM

I LOVE your collections. I really look forward to every news in my feedreader!

Posted by zideshowbob February 27, 09 01:45 PM

Outstanding and deeply moving pictures and stories. #33 is overwhelming!

Posted by LottieP February 27, 09 01:51 PM

this is some great stuff to see. and we all are sitting here in America worried about paying off our mortgages and our value of shares when there is much worse stuff happening all over the world. the main stream media will never hear of this situation and yet, anybody in this country has it worse off than anybody in America. Makes me sad. I wish i could adopt the kid from #33. What a story!

Posted by maltman February 27, 09 01:56 PM

Where do they keep getting the guns from? That's what I'd like to know.

Posted by mdmadph February 27, 09 01:57 PM

just utterly devastating. thank you for bringing this home.

Posted by jillian February 27, 09 02:14 PM

God, help us to help that people. Too much suffering.

Posted by Ed February 27, 09 02:15 PM

This is amazing...maybe the pic of the malnurished baby should have a little warning like you somtimes have...but wow these pictures are amazing.

Posted by Jeroen February 27, 09 02:17 PM

So heartbreaking, yet stunning

"When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed."
Mother Teresa

Posted by jamie February 27, 09 02:30 PM

Soul Wrenching! My heart hurts so much.

Posted by Lydia L February 27, 09 02:40 PM

Brilliant and moving pictures. It strikes me that our excessive and luxurious way of life here in North America is only possible because while we have so much, there is an entire world that has almost nothing. We exist on the backs of the whole world.

Also, is it just me that found it odd that the man with the stick is leading the rest of the men with guns in #22? Maybe put a guy with a rifle on point...

Posted by Jacob February 27, 09 02:51 PM

Sad but brilliant... #30 & #33 really touched me. How do we forget that they too are human like us ?

Thank you for sharing.

Posted by Cuckoo February 27, 09 02:58 PM

Hard and amazing photos!

Posted by Claire from France February 27, 09 02:59 PM

#33, with the caption, maybe one of the most powerful images i've ever seen.
Incredibly simple picture for such a deeply emotional story.

Posted by R P February 27, 09 03:16 PM

Great and heart touching pictures world is very nice and beautiful and every one is happy.

Posted by neulekh February 27, 09 03:22 PM

Hah check out the guy with the orange shirt in picture 22 ( link) . On his shirt is "Club Gitmo" - what the heck?

Besides, I'd also like to know who supplies those rebel militias with firearms. Thinking about someone who makes business with this cruel war makes me feel sick somehow..

ps. Those traditional Congolese hair styles seem a bit unpractical...

Posted by Dirk February 27, 09 03:26 PM

Heart Breaking...

Posted by Greg in Vegas February 27, 09 03:30 PM

Tell them to smile - Obama is gonna solve all the worlds problems !!!


Posted by Rob February 27, 09 03:40 PM

Man is a bad animal....

Posted by Jimbo February 27, 09 03:54 PM

Picture #22....

How did the guy in front get stuck with a stick and everyone behind him get a gun? I think they need more training......

Posted by Anonymous February 27, 09 04:05 PM

Inspiring and motivating. I see the determination in their eyes and must smile in the midst of my tears. Their perseverance is beautiful. Thank you.

Posted by Traci February 27, 09 04:22 PM

Wow, such beautiful faces.

Posted by Choudoufu February 27, 09 04:25 PM

These are absolutely gorgeous and I love how they don't hold back to show what is really happening.

Posted by Rebecca N February 27, 09 04:45 PM

Amazing shots and a nice collection

Posted by alex Reid February 27, 09 04:52 PM

30 years ago, I already have seen similar pictures from african countries and nothing changed and in 30 years my children will see the same pictures ....... even Obama can not help, it is always a question of power and money, not more .....

Posted by geissmic February 27, 09 04:55 PM

Such beautiful faces, such misery.

We don't do enough.

Posted by James February 27, 09 05:01 PM

This is just incredibly sad. Thanks for publishing these.

Posted by Al February 27, 09 05:03 PM

#13 FTW!

Posted by doe February 27, 09 05:24 PM

how ironic... one of the men in #22 wears a "club g'itmo" T-shirt that was put out by rush limbaugh to support the US use of guantanamo bay. all things are in relation.

Posted by Matthew Ballou February 27, 09 05:29 PM

excellent photographs, showing how bad that people living in other countries.

Posted by jorge alberto mussuto February 27, 09 05:35 PM

these foto essays are just incredible. thank you.

Posted by Carolina February 27, 09 07:48 PM

Striking photos, thanks for sharing, i hope these countries can get out of this misery. They seem to be such a great people,

Posted by Maxime February 27, 09 08:05 PM

Simply amazing photographs. Thank you for opening my eyes to the heartache and determination of the Congolese people. I was deeply moved by your pictures.

Posted by Amy February 27, 09 08:22 PM

Truly amazing photos - DR Congo has seen such a sad series of events in recent times

Posted by Simon February 27, 09 09:01 PM

Utterly heartbreaking. #18 and 33 bring tears to my eyes...Mercy for these people..

Posted by Carmen February 27, 09 10:11 PM

These pictures truly tell a tail that no one should ever have to experience. After seeing these pictures it breaks my heart to think that the economy is in such a horrible crisis and these people who are relying on donations might not get what they are expecting. I know the life of these individuals is different from what I have come accustomed to in life, but I want them to be able to prosper and not end up like picture #33 and his family. Thank you for sharing these emotional photos!

Posted by AFtraveler February 27, 09 10:37 PM

Nothing changes in africa,
as usual

Posted by Uatio February 28, 09 01:24 AM


Posted by Joe Palmieri February 28, 09 01:45 AM

shame on humanity...

Posted by hyd February 28, 09 02:16 AM

very powerful and beautiful... thanks for sharing...

Posted by Louise February 28, 09 03:19 AM

Thanks to Mr. Taylor for posting my photos from Congo and to those who have commented. It's good to see people reacting so strongly to the harsh realities of every day life here. I'm glad a number of pictures were also chosen that show the strength and resilience of the Congolese people, whose bravery and character never ceases to amaze and humble me wherever I meet them, even in the most dire situations.
Just to clarify, the man on the right in picture 22 is carrying a large machete, not a stick. I will check in again and respond to any further questions of comments. Regards, -Finbarr

Posted by Finbarr O'Reilly February 28, 09 03:24 AM

to reader #17, do you think only cellphones do damage to the Congo? And Congo alone? The very computer you've used to type your message has been manufactured from so many items, oil for one, coming from all over the world where suffering is spread out as well. So can we assume that you're living in a hut like a recluse, living from your own garden, dressed like a caveman? And that you refuse any medical treatment?
don't get me wrong, I wish those horrors and inequalities would stop too but your childish comment is not helping.

Posted by ben wilhelmi February 28, 09 03:53 AM

Golden eyes

Posted by mikos February 28, 09 04:38 AM

What can I say that hasn't been said better. Let's hope their suffering ends soon.

Posted by Mark Lea February 28, 09 04:47 AM

heart breaking, it makes it harder to enjoy the photography.

Posted by garrett Brady February 28, 09 05:05 AM

I've been following since the start and this is the best series yet on The Big Picture - which is definitely saying something.

Posted by Matt February 28, 09 05:20 AM

#33, she've seen a lot for a 8year old

Posted by Anonymous February 28, 09 08:41 AM

I'm from that region. i'm from bukavu and those pictures were too hard for me...
But i have to thank you however for having bring the reality of misery and war to people from north. Things they seems to forget unfortunetly

Posted by Kola Mutama February 28, 09 10:29 AM

Beginning with #4 all of my needs and wants turned to 'dribble.' At # 18 my heart fell apart - from there, it went downhill. Thanks so much for the shot of reality that says I am blessed.

Posted by Oakie February 28, 09 12:03 PM

The Rush Limbaugh "Club Gitmo" shirt in picture #22 is funny.

Posted by Tim February 28, 09 12:46 PM

fotos bastante realistas e com absoluto senso da miseria humana, obtidas pelo fotografo.

Posted by Duilio Terzi February 28, 09 05:15 PM

Great pictures showing the individual suffering of each. To often war pictures are to distant and make the suffering disconnected and thus turn it into a mere statistic. Not allowing us to connect to the situation of other humans with hopes and families, across the globe. These pictures prevent: "Death of One Man Tragedy Death of Millions a Statistic".

Posted by Roland February 28, 09 05:47 PM

#18 utterly breaks my heart.

Such beautiful, awful photos. Some day I hope they are all able to see peace again.

Posted by Matt February 28, 09 06:31 PM

Je reste sans voix devant tant de misère et pourtant il brille encore de l'espoir dans certains regards...
Magnifiques photos, très touchantes!

Posted by Domino February 28, 09 06:44 PM

Wonderful portrails. Congratulations!

Posted by Adriano Echeverria February 28, 09 07:12 PM

What can we do to help?

Posted by Patrick Wright February 28, 09 10:19 PM

Amazing photos. Wordless for number 18.

Posted by Christian February 28, 09 11:31 PM

I would like to help, what do I need to do? I'd adopt the son who has machete marks on him...

Posted by Gena March 1, 09 03:10 AM

Truly wonderful pics. It's crazy how religions and ideologies can divide compatriots, resulting to civil wars. They only gain in this whole story are the millions spent on military equipment... I'm sure the people behind all this are well known, but the climax of the trade must be big enough to silence almost every concern, even though it's dealing with human lives..

Posted by apoelistas March 1, 09 04:38 AM

please some do something for them................
hey US where are you...........

Posted by eden March 1, 09 04:43 AM

great work.

Posted by maique March 1, 09 06:24 AM

Mass poverty in Congo and Uganda and nothing more...

Posted by 0987 March 1, 09 09:26 AM

Touching and heartbreaking

Posted by monica March 1, 09 09:47 AM

I love this website! The photos are so touchy!

Posted by Anonim March 1, 09 02:15 PM

13 is my hero

Posted by mzungu March 1, 09 02:35 PM

Compliments! Really great pictures..I have just left the DRC...thank you for sharing these pics!

Posted by Virginia March 1, 09 02:57 PM

If you really want to help, find small organizations to give money to; stop replacing your cell phone every 2 years; stop buying diamonds; and start thinking about how you spend your consumer dollars. Every thing we do has an effect somewhere in the world. Many of the economic connections come back to DRC. It's not just a matter of throwing up our hands in despair about poverty and violence. These each has a genesis and reasons that they are prolonged. US politics and aid play a part, but neither is the whole solution. There are plenty of organizations working in eastern DRC that can use your cash if you want to donate. Use your Google-fu, people.

Posted by Congogirl March 1, 09 04:59 PM

Awesome! Unfortunately, we're talking about suffered people...

Posted by Sol March 1, 09 05:01 PM

Nothing we can do.

Posted by fjinnw March 1, 09 05:37 PM

magnifique photos bouleversantes et pleines de pudeur
patrick M

Posted by Patrick M March 1, 09 06:16 PM

Thanks for posting these photos. It is so essential to see how people at other sides of our planet live.
This could bring appreciation for what we have and our work and living conditions.

Posted by David M March 1, 09 08:21 PM

Absolutly stunning photography.
Let's hope that with one day there is peace for these people.
Human beings really are the worse kind...
Finbarr you should be comended for bringing this to light and it's what people need to see, #18 shouldn't have a "this may offend" on it without the shock nothing will get done.
There's too many goody two shoes hippy mung beans that want to cover up things and only show the good side of life.when people need to be shocked.

Posted by Karen March 1, 09 10:16 PM

Very Sad and touching..

Posted by Maltesh March 1, 09 10:37 PM

#35 makes me wanna take the boy home and give him a life.... But sitting here all I can say is that I want to... but I cant actually do it.... which makes me feel like a hypocrite..

#13 makes me smile.... 200 pairs of matching clothes...... Wow.... He must be the rich dude around... What does a money changer actually do ???

#23 Loved the photo....

Posted by febin March 1, 09 11:05 PM

very touching ...
thanks for share all brother ...

keep safe human right

Posted by rgesit March 1, 09 11:11 PM

Great Photos. The photos did a good job viewing the reality of the situation there, but in a dignified way.

Posted by Bryce March 2, 09 12:01 AM

i love your comments, too bad you'll forget all about this as soon as you close this page and return to your grande latte and your complicated existence. very sad indeed

Posted by iamildumil March 2, 09 03:40 AM

#59: I am a software engineering, I use my computer to make a living. By the way I have a clean conscience, your comment is not making me angry because I live in peace with the world.

Posted by KesheR March 2, 09 04:05 AM

Beautifull pictures... hope for a peace day in Congo.

Posted by Rascal March 2, 09 07:31 AM

I'm an Accountant at Multinational Oil Company. Never in my life time have i ever seen such a collection of pictures. we have to do so many things on behalf of our poor peoples. it is time to get together .......?

Posted by EMAL Ekanayake March 2, 09 07:44 AM

Big up the big picture!!
thank you.

Posted by chaos March 2, 09 08:12 AM

GR8 pictures as usual............
Will there ever be peace in he heart of Africa??

And the world is worried abt recession!!

Posted by Santosh March 2, 09 11:00 AM

Poignant !

Posted by Santosh K. Patra March 2, 09 11:26 AM

how can one say anything while sitting in my home with my children sipping coffee

Posted by robert saint amour March 2, 09 11:43 AM

Increible, amazing, magnifique...

Posted by Enrique March 2, 09 01:09 PM

Thomas Malthus was right and is right. A condom in every six-pack.

Posted by ggg March 2, 09 01:42 PM

And this happen all the time on our planet while we complain about our life during eating a Hamburger. The Western Countries have put more money in capitalism in the last months than for development aid since 1945. Any further questions?
SOME MORE PICTURES (Topic: Congo after the War - Maltreated children's souls) ->

Posted by William March 2, 09 02:02 PM

Amazing photos that speak of what is really happening outside of the fox and msnbc realm.

on a side note look at the orange shirt #22 "Club Gitmo" from the rush limbaugh show ...amazing

reminds me of a photo i have from iraq with a local man working on a broken raw sewage pipe that has a shirt that says "I voted for bush and all I got was this lousey t-shirt"

Posted by Tim March 2, 09 03:59 PM

Amazing, beautiful people. Strong as mountains.

And the only one weeping is crying for someone else.

Posted by quixote March 2, 09 04:45 PM

All in the name of power and money. How did the world get so screwed up.

I just want to bring the kids in numbers 35 and 38 home with me. Otherwise they'll just end up like number 32. Boy soldiers.

Posted by Julia March 2, 09 04:55 PM

No words could explain what i'm feeling now.
besides, wonderful photos.

Posted by Juan March 2, 09 09:43 PM

Jolts you into realising that we have nothing to complain about. Incredible and heart-breaking photographs

Posted by Evie March 3, 09 06:36 AM

Deeply moved..... US spends billions of dollars on Star Wars like crazy programmes and designing latest weapons......who will feed these hungry sons of divine Lord.........

Posted by Ashwyn Mittal March 3, 09 08:16 AM

Pìkné fotky! Nice photos!

Posted by hasbend March 3, 09 08:34 AM

When I was a kid, my mother used to tell me to finish my dinner, because some young child in africa was starving.

It was many years before I realised that child would die whether I ate my brussel sprouts or not. I think I'm going out and buy a new cell phone.

Posted by otis March 3, 09 08:57 PM

These pictures are very deep and beautiful. They show that these people are completely human and have to deal with more than many of us in the West will ever know.

That being said, much of Africa is in chaos, we can blame as much as we want on European colonization and capitalist agendas, but it is the people that are killing each other, they are uprooting their cultures and destroying their lands and their people.

Africa, in many aspects, is very far behind in modernization. European history is full of similar stories, we have committed similar atrocities but we managed to get out of it (for the most part) through reason and experience. It seems like Africa just refuse to listen.

Throwing more money at the problem will not combat the situation. The governments are more corrupt than even the worst European politician. The hard-working African people are so often the ones that are brutalized, raped and murdered. Much of the continent lies in total ruin. It is a shame because there exists a rich culture with wonderful people. But it seems that there is no way of peace nor much of a future for many parts of Africa.

Posted by Jenna March 4, 09 12:06 AM

@ 112.

I agree completely.

Posted by Jenna March 4, 09 12:11 AM

so sad. and can you imagine some people in the u.s. think they have it so bad. they all need to take a look at these photos. but i am affraid of what coul happen to us here in the u.s. in the future. we should pray for these people in the photos. and for ourselves in the u.s.
God bless

Posted by carrie March 4, 09 03:06 AM

so sad...=
let's pray for their safety...

Posted by jae March 4, 09 07:44 AM

Why not let nature run it's course? Nobody can ever seem to understand that this is why the population is growing exponentially. It's never going to plateau until we stop saving everyone and everything that comes along in the world. For example, picture 18 is that of a child that nature would euthanize, but not the bleeding hearts that want to save every child they can, even if it means they'll be stricken with disease and pain for the rest of their lives. But these morons are the ones that complain about the population crisis while donating to dying children.

The human race will be it's own demise and these pictures are proof.

Posted by john March 4, 09 09:45 AM

There is a lot of beauty in the images of the people and the natural riches of Congo, and it is hard to understand the atrocious levels of violence and hatred that leaves the place in constant convulsions. Except that we live from a lot of the natural resources from regions like Congo and this creates a huge incentive for bribery, corruption, violence, and ultimately conflict. It is enough to see how some corporations are willing to make despicable deals to get access to the resources. Just look at the deals for the oil in Cabinda, Angola. Once upon a time it was said that the country is ruled by a communist mafia. Now there is no word about this anymore, but the same clique is in power. George Bush and Dick Cheney even received Mr. dos Santos in the White House. He is one of the richest persons in the world. One hard working dictator who could care less about the suffering of his people. Congo next door is no different in this respect.

Posted by Michael March 4, 09 12:50 PM

We all are guilty, in our hungherness, in our need of more, all we are trash, we made this with our needs, money, jewlery, gold, shine, shine, shine, all we need it's that, when our souls are dry and empty, we should fill it up with love, not whith things. All of you there, don't buy a bigger T.V. or "better" car, apreciate the nature just how it is, FREE!

Posted by Vicente Solis March 4, 09 01:15 PM

Take some time to look at #35....

Posted by Sam van der Zanden March 5, 09 07:18 AM

Cell phones are actually one of the tools that enables growth in many local economies as a means of connecting sellers with buyers and getting goods to the right markets when needed.
Alternate currencies have evolved around trading cell-phone minutes instead of cash. A minute today will still be a minute next week, whereas a roll of bills may quickly decline in value to half or worse...
As with all structures, these too work best in times of peace and relative security.
Heartbreaking pictures of a beautiful people... thanks for bringing them to our attention again, please keep them coming.

Posted by airwhale March 5, 09 08:12 AM

heartbreaking, thought provoking, powerful photography - thank you once again for opening our eyes

whilst I do not know how to help the people illustrated here, after a trip to Kenya I have set up this website to help two schools who are very much in need of help, please take a look

Posted by Louise Bolt March 5, 09 09:11 AM

very moving, excellent pictures. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Jose Eduardo Deboni March 5, 09 01:47 PM
124. God, how she's small... and how we're fat...

Posted by Paolo March 5, 09 02:17 PM

São simplesmente lindas, perfeitas!

Posted by Cleopatra March 6, 09 08:18 AM

These amazing photographs show the world what is really happening in most of Africa. The inhumanity of terrible people against their own kind. Animals are better than these so called humans. Most are governed by a dictator, who with his so called armies (thugs and monsters) go around killing, raping, mutilating, and then burning the villages and killing the villagers livestock. Thousands of orphaned children, who have given up on hope. So much genocide, hatred because another person comes from a different tribe!!!! I get sick to my stomach when I think about what these poor defenseless people have to go through. A living Hell! And don't blame the USA,,It would take the whole world to settle this! !!!pp

Posted by Sylvia Lyons March 7, 09 10:13 PM

Many Thanks Indeed for this pictures.

Regads from Spain

Posted by Tarek Halabi March 9, 09 08:29 AM

Many Thanks Indeed for this pictures.

Regads from Spain

Posted by Tarek Halabi March 9, 09 08:41 AM

I LOVE the way LEFTISTS describe gold mining and their other jobs as "hard manual labour." What the Hell do they expect? That Microsoft is going to set-up a high tech plant there?? These people NEED the jobs they have and are GLAD for them because it sure beats starving. Stupid socialists should butt out. Reminds me of all the crying 2 years ago about poor little children "ship breaking" in Pakistan. Jobs = money = food.

Posted by B. Disraeli March 9, 09 04:05 PM

Do you all notice the Congolese names? They are Africans but with French names.
And does anybody notice which colonial nation has its colonies always caught in tribal wars, and which colonial nation has its colonies thrive in peace and prosperity ?
The French colonials never taught their colonies about democracy (even when France is the birth land of democratic republic?), discipline, or responsibility of leaders towards their people. So their colonies are always at war (Congo, Ruanda, Mauritania, etc). Their colonies' leaders are never first class leaders, capable of holding a nation together besides their own tribe, in other words, egoistic.
These differs from colonies from England like South Africa, ZImbabwe (at first), Kenya, Tanzania, (not including divided India which was war torn in its first years because of unduly country division into two) : they get good disciplined and far thinking leaders, educated in UK, a KINGDOM not a REPUBLIC.
The youth of Africa should be educated in UK so they could be good leaders with empathy for people, not be schooled in the guillotine head-beheading France.

Posted by om santi March 9, 09 09:40 PM

Well done Finbarr O'Reilly ; I was used to work in East Congo with "Doctors Without Boarders" and I ' m glad that pictures are representing what words can hardly say . I keep being haunted by this misery in Congo while here, in West Australia where I live , the materialism is encouraged to the extreme . Totally opposite worlds , Australians very ignorant of their extremely good fortune!

Posted by Marie Claire March 10, 09 04:36 PM

Crepate tutti merdacce africane!

Regards from Italy

Posted by Italian_Latino March 11, 09 08:59 PM

Well done, and such great photography, some of these shots are breathtaking... it really captures the essence of the situation.

Posted by Michelle P. (canada) March 12, 09 12:20 AM

You may not realize it, but I so proud of you and what you are doing. Dad

Posted by Paddy O'Reilly March 13, 09 02:21 AM

Superb photojournalism!

Posted by Chris Morgan March 13, 09 11:59 AM


Posted by WEWE NI WETU March 13, 09 06:26 PM

Heartbreaking, compassionate, courageous photos. I most particularly appreciate and respect Mr. Finbarr O'Reilly for caring enough about the people in the photos to have learned their names, and for recording them as real people rather than anonymous strangers.

Posted by Rev. Cynthia Stateman March 18, 09 02:45 AM

I commend your skill and sensitivity here. The humanity of these people comes across without prejudice. The painful silence and sorrow present here comes across all the more for the restraint. These people have been surrounded by chaos and hatred and here in these moments we see them as individuals.

We all know there's no magic wand with any conflict zone. Speaking as someone who has spent time in Northern Ireland. I do know that if people are given pause to see those around them, that they may hurt, true humanity then brutality and rage are often averted. These pictures help provide that pause.

Posted by S Sawyer March 18, 09 09:33 AM

ola pobrecillos me parecen muy malas las condiciones en las que viven esas pobes personas no se que decir me e quedado "en blanco" "sin palabras"
les deseo buena suerte para ellos...

Posted by Jennifer March 18, 09 12:01 PM

Imperialism Results !!

Posted by John March 19, 09 03:38 AM

Lost lives, displaced families/homes, starvation, unsanitary survival (existance, not living)! The suffering is spoken in the Eyes of these beautiful souls. We see and hear the lambs-a-cryin'...I pray we find ways to care for all HUMANITY distant and far. Our own eternity hinges upon how we respond to the crying. Once I see and know, I am compeled to act. I held the children, wiped the tears, caressed each face in my arms as I prayed for their deliverance, realizing that my own is anchored in theirs. God, give me strength to move from my comfort zone to be an obedient shepherd. Thanks for the revelation in photos! Sensitive! Powerful!

Posted by brenda tucker aka ayanna wambui March 22, 09 04:24 AM

de très belles photos qui en disent long...

Posted by Anonymous March 22, 09 03:23 PM


Unfortunately violence is part of the sub Saharan Africans' nature. Wherever they go, violence and hedonistic behavior follows. Just look at the inner cities in the United States and look at what's happening to the cities in Europe they're now beginning to infest.

Posted by Ironhead March 23, 09 02:41 AM

Nothing unusual. Thousands of years of documented history and we still see starving babies, genocide and the entire list of 3rd world indicators that plague that entire continent.

Don't waste your money attempting to fix a problem that needs to solve itself.

Posted by Anonymous March 23, 09 02:43 PM

Wow, those are great portraits! Well done!

Posted by Anonymous March 24, 09 12:48 PM

What a sad commentary these remarks are. For the most part, it appears as though they are simply reviews of the author's photography? My god, have we become so detached? Perhaps the most targeted comments were...what can we do? Congogirl, your remarks were poignant and direct. Thank you. People, take time to look into the eyes of the children....and then ask youself, "what can I do."

Posted by Tiffany March 27, 09 10:49 PM


Posted by Ari April 2, 09 06:40 AM

Hey Tiffany- Why is it always "what can _____ do for these people?" How about they do something for themselves for once? Hundreds of billions, TRILLIONS if you include private charity, has been given to this continent. All it has achieved doing is severely increasing the size of the population, setting it up for an even more catastrophic problem. Blame can only get you so far, they need to look at themselves for the cause of their problems. Look into the eyes of the children?-the world has been guilt-tripped into that for DECADES. Not only has there been ZERO results, it has actually gotten worse over there. Cease all aid, and let nature solve Africas problems- it is long overdue.

Posted by James April 11, 09 12:13 AM

i think that this is a bad thing happen to the congolese i prey that god will hlep these people.

Posted by christine April 19, 09 10:14 PM

God thank you for your mercy to us, and comfort those who suffer ...

Posted by nara May 3, 09 02:04 AM

yu have this strengh to keep eye, humanity and esthetic. Everything inside is together: blood, sadness, the shame, the hopeness, the smile... To keep all is to be alive. Yur photography is alive.

Posted by calmé May 9, 09 04:52 AM

as a black man in mississippi to think i have it bad .we all can help my hart go out to them,how can i help.

Posted by Gene Martin May 16, 09 05:00 PM

very sad, but the photos are amazing!

Posted by Maria May 22, 09 03:25 PM

Gorgeous. Tragic, but very, very beautiful.

Posted by Isa June 24, 09 04:14 PM

Really great selection of photographs. Striking beauty of faces and in the same time hoorible human tragedy.

Posted by neutrino July 26, 09 09:45 AM

Dear Mr. Taylor, thank you for offering these amazingly powerful photos to the world. I am president of an association in support of victims of sexual violence in the DRC here in the Eastern Pyrenees (France). We are partnering with a local association in Kasongo (Maniema, DRC) a zone that has suffered from the war since 98. We are in the process of developing our website (you can see the current draft on line) and we need good photos. Is there any chance that we might be able to use some of yours? What process would that require? We are putting all our resources into local awareness raising and helping our partner in the DRC apply for funds. Linde Rachel for Ensemble pour les femmes.

Posted by Linde Rachel August 21, 09 01:56 AM

It was #20 that struck my heart and brought tears to my eyes. How rare it is that a photographer shows the Congolese people for who they are: human. beings.

Posted by Desiree September 2, 09 05:11 PM

finbarr o'reilly, asante sana. you capture a region that has my heart and my voice, thank you for the value your images crown the people of eastern DRC with. hakuna amani, hakuna maisha.

Posted by Christina VandenHengel September 11, 09 05:23 PM

Fantastic pics, a spectacularly beautiful country, where the suffering goes on and on, beautiful, sad, afraid, proud,and happy faces despite all,we volunteer our childrens childhood away, they have their,s taken.

Posted by lynne October 11, 09 12:18 PM

Great pics. Sad events. The African soul will always survive nonetheless. By the way, is that a used toothbrush in pic 29? We really improvise in Africa!

Posted by Oliver November 9, 09 09:32 AM

I just sat down with my 5 year old daughter and looked at these photos.

I am in awe, what amazing photos. I hope to be able to capture emotion like this some day, wow!

Posted by DeLynn December 26, 09 04:41 PM

i am african and am in so much pain when living here in the united states and congolese innocent children and women get killed,i wish the outside world could open its eyes and help stop the so called government and rebels from sweeping out the countrys population.

Posted by geoffrey January 3, 10 12:12 AM

this is very very sad every1 says that the U.S needs to do something but, what! these are very sad pictures it should make us feel very lucky!!!!!!!!

Posted by samalama January 10, 10 12:35 PM

I just can't believe how spoiled we are and don't even realize it. These pictures totally help you get back to reality and help you see that even if you don't have the newest phone, you still have way more than they do. We need to appreciate what we have and give to the people who have nothing. Thank you for posting these photos, they have pretty much changed my life.

Posted by Emma H. January 10, 10 02:29 PM

These are spectacular images once again of the misery of Congo. I would also urge people to look at the work of James Nachtway, similarly evocative. What can you do? You can give and involve yourself in organizations that look to the future of Congo by educating scholars within Congo by service centered education. Please see our website and think about giving or being involved. What is truly evocative is being in Congo and seeing the enormous human potential there. The images you see just give you a sliver of the depth of the human spirit here and it is not hopeless and yes you can make a difference. The loss of life in the tsunami and Haiti occurs every 6 months in Congo over and over.

Posted by Louis Calli January 18, 10 09:33 AM

some sad some cute all in all its not good for them to live this way to go throu wat there going throu

Posted by Anonymous February 1, 10 02:01 PM

Unas fotografías de las imágenes congolesas que más impresionan el corazón. Solamente resta preguntar si el mundo no tiene la sensibilidad para llevar una gota de esperanza a una tierra rica pero amargada.

Posted by Ummagumma March 30, 10 10:10 AM

@ #117 - The next time you are seriously ill or injured, does that mean you'll forgo medical help and just let nature "run it's course" as you say?

Posted by D May 5, 10 02:07 AM

wow....been researching and keeping an eye on news of the Congo.
Your pictures are amazing.
Thay honestly bought tears to my eyes, as if only...
Thank you

Posted by mi June 10, 10 07:59 AM

Wow....Amazing Images!

Posted by Bh Makunzo August 4, 10 12:01 PM

Eight year old Faustin Mugisa in photo #33 made me cry out for him.
The only hope for him... and for all of us... is righteous world leadership.
Not the post-confligration world leader - but the the one that comes seven years after "The Road To Peace Plan" with Israel is implimented.
Watch for it!

Posted by David Rocke September 30, 10 10:31 AM

HOOOOOOOO GOD WHAT HAVE WE DONE TO THE WORLD TO DESERVE ALL OF THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by CHRIS November 16, 10 10:28 AM

number 130, please get your facts straight, France never colonized DRC; it was Belgium, and DRC was its only colony.

Posted by fatgirl November 23, 10 02:12 PM

To those who stated "the starving child will die one day" and "nature will take its course"....I hope when your country gets bombed by will be nature taking its course....and people have to die eventually.

Posted by aaliyah January 8, 11 06:41 PM

just had me in tears...why cant we do something...

Posted by camie March 27, 11 08:19 AM

You can do something.... you can Adopt.

Posted by Casey Chappell March 31, 11 12:42 AM

Why do the girls have to wear their hair like that? I wonder if they want that or if they are forced to use that hairstyle.

Posted by Joel Pozin May 6, 11 01:24 PM
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