For most of the past decade, Marcus Bleasdale (left) has been the very picture of a dedicated photojournalist on a mission. The Oslo-based VII Agency photographer’s steady, piercing visual reportage of the ongoing war in the Democratic Republic of Congo has garnered accolades and helped to trigger human-rights reforms — but has too often been ignored in the West. Now it may find a new audience, however, as a moving multimedia feature on MediaStorm.org.
American Photo featured Bleasdale and his remarkable black-and-white Congo images in November/December 2005, as part of a package called “Five Stories You’ve Never Seen,” meant to bring attention to international events underreported in the United States. “The statistics [in the DRC] are just staggering,” Bleasdale told me at the time. “In fact, 3.5 million people died there within a period of five years, the largest number of deaths in one country since World War II.”
The complex reasons for the war carnage and poverty in the DRC — which ironically is greatly blessed with natural mineral resources — are explored in the MediaStorm feature, called “Rape of a Nation.”