If Richard Mosse’s photography has succeeded in doing one thing — illustrating the crimson of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in a way that makes the war-torn nation look like it’s from another world.
Which fits as it is often treated that way.
Mosse uses an old decommissioned form of military infrared photography called “Kodak Aerochrome” which “registers an invisible spectrum of infrared light, rendering the green landscape in vivid hues of lavender, crimson, and hot pink,” according to his website.
The method blends reality with fiction, simultaneously highlighting an altogether ignored sore on the face of the human race: the marginalization of 70 million people who are mired in one of the globe’s most pressing human rights struggles.
Citizens of the Congo have struggled silently through years of genocide, altogether invisible to the consciousness of the outside world.
Mosse, if only for a second, made people more aware.
The Congo is Africa's second-largest country and boasts untapped raw mineral deposits estimated to be worth in excess of $ 24 trillion.
And yet Congolese citizens are among the poorest in the world, as the country has the second lowest nominal GDP per capita.
The country ranks last in the UN's human development index, which measures life expectancy, educational attainment and income.
DRC, which has the second-highest rate of infant mortality in the world, ranks last in the global status report of maternal and infant health worldwide.
In the resource-rich eastern Congo, more than five million people have died due to war-related causes since 1998.
Since November 130,000 people near the eastern city of Goma have fled their homes as chronic instability disrupted the harvest and compounded famine.
And yet Congo has 70% of the world's coltan — used in the fabrication of electronic components in computers and mobile phones — and more than 30% of the world's diamond reserves.
Diamond exports, nearly one-fifth of the country's gross domestic product at $2 billion per year, stoke perpetual turmoil,
It's resources have always fuelled war: Uranium from the country was used in the atomic bombs the U.S. dropped on Japan in 1945.
No surprise that fugitive warlord Joseph Kony is ordering African forest elephants to be killed in the Congo's Garamba national park so that their ivory can be sold to fund the Lord's Resistance Army.
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