[Image credit: Richard Mosse/Institute, Congo in Infrared]
Even outside of the West, discourses on “the Congo” are pervasive and chronologically reaching. From colonial to post-colonial independence and contemporary Congo, trouble has seemed to be constant. Or in the words of the historian Gerard Prunier ‘conflicts (…) roll down into the Congo basin like so many overripe toxic fruits.’ Such discourses , helpful or not, often entreat us to accept the dyads of hope/despair, violence/peace (think the Enough Project). In Franz fanon’s Wretched of the Earth we are again confronted with this centrality of crisis, ‘If Africa is shaped like a gun, and Congo is the trigger. If that explosive trigger bursts, its the whole Africa that will explode.’ Congo has both exploded and slowly withered, yet it remains. Its people persevere perhaps out of a finely tuned survival instinct, or maybe even purposefully to offer something new to another generation.
Amani Itakuya is an essay series that attempts to capture these problems and critically express these discourses. Authors are drawn from a variety of local/international and vocational backgrounds. The Swahili title, meaning “peace will come”, does betray an earnest hope for the future, but this collection promotes engagement over pure advocacy.
The current (second) series is being posted daily, and is, as of this writing, half way through the 25 essays. Read, consider and reflect!
This series is brought to you by the authors, but also through the dedicated hard work of the editors Christoph Vogel and Sekombi Katondolo.