“Congo in Conversation” with Finbarr O’Reilly and Bernadette Vivuya

Virtual event


April 15, 2021
10:00–11:15AM EDT


As the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the world in 2020, swiftly closing down borders, Finbarr O’Reilly and 11 Congolese photographers—who were collaborating on a vast project addressing the human, social and ecological challenges that the DRC faces today—quickly adapted themselves to the new reality and created a unique collaborative online chronicle. It is an uninterrupted and unprecedented stream of articles, photo essays, and videos housed on a dedicated website called “Congo in Conversation” that has also resulted in a bilingual monograph of the same name. The 11th Carmignac Photojournalism Award funded the project.

Finbarr and Bernadette Vivuya, one of the project’s contributors, join Ziyah Gafic to discuss their collaboration and the project’s evolution. They’ll also speak more broadly about diversity and representation and photojournalistic narratives from Congo and Africa.

Finbarr O’Reilly

Finbarr O’Reilly is an independent photographer and multimedia journalist, and the author of the nonfiction memoir, Shooting Ghosts, A U.S. Marine, a Combat Photographer, and Their Journey Back from War (Penguin Random House 2017).

Bernadette Vivuya

Bernadette Vivuya is a Congolese visual journalist and filmmaker based in Goma, Eastern DRC. She is an alumnus of Image Criticism and Social Justice Photography: Decomposing the Colonial Gaze at the Yole!Africa Centre. She works on issues of human rights, the environment, and the exploitation of raw materials, with a particular interest in subjects that testify to the resilience of the people of this region affected by numerous conflicts.
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