Multimedia project brings the Congo war back into focus

Frustration over the lack of coverage in the media of the ‘absolutely terrible’conditions in the Congo prompted photographer Susan Schulman to approach Guardian Weekly with an idea for a multimedia project.

As a result of her discussions with Guardian Weekly editor Anna Bruce-Lockhardt, Schulman’s multimedia project, using photographs, video and audio, will be launched on Monday, 19 May.

Schulman went to the Democratic Republic of the Congo last month to photograph and film a series of in-depth interviews to be posted online by Guardian Weekly and used by Channel 4.

Schulman says that in her native America there is more coverage of the Congo but little of quality, while the coverage in the UK is largely ‘woefully’repetitive.

‘It’s not quite enough as an explanation to say it’s a complicated story,’says Schulman. ‘There are a lot of journalists who really know the area but it’s a real problem pitching it and getting anyone really interested.”

Many of the people she spoke to in the DRC were eager to share their stories, says Schulman, who will be returning to the country next month for the second stage of the project. ‘Most of them were eager to let the rest of the world know what was going on,’she says. ‘They definitely feel that they have been forgotten.”

The Frontline Club has also used Schulman’s work in its Congo Season, running until 16 May, in London, as a multimedia package on Youtube.

Duncan Furey, executive director of the Frontline Trust, says while some ‘excellent journalism’has come out of the DRC the amount of coverage does not reflect the scale and complexity of the situation.

‘A number of journalists have continued to follow the story and report/produce images from the DRC, even though there isn’t a huge demand for their work,’he says. ‘Frontline felt is was important to recognise this commitment and to showcase their work and the issues they cover.”

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