How to live in the world's poorest country
• How to live in the world's poorest countries
Photojournalist Michael Christopher Brown took a lot of episodes of the Congo. On this African country the inhabitants of the "golden billion" do not know almost nothing. Brown's projects involve all facets of Congolese reality: life, traditions, work, war. Here the photographer talks about his work, his impressions of the country and its problems:
"Like many photojournalists, I have something to shoot on iPhone. The mobile phone allows you to hide the fact that you are a professional photographer. For their heroes I am a man from the crowd. Stealth is important especially in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo: the various armed groups and the state are fighting for control of natural resources and minerals, in turn, is used to further finance the war, the atrocities and repression that has more than a century occur in this area.
Congo - mostly underdeveloped countries. Electronic industry - the main consumer of the minerals mined here: tourmaline stone tin and coltan. Of them make key components for mobile phones, laptops and other gadgets. Therefore, if ironic, then, that I take on the iPhone - very handy. I arrived in the Congo in early August 2012 to fix the way minerals from the mine to the border of the country and how the trade in these minerals affect the lives of the workers, who all this time have to deal with them. In the refugee camp in Kibati phone assisted me to shoot unobtrusively. I was also more concentrated as a photographer. Instead of thinking about camera settings and the huge amount of equipment, I'd rather focused on what is happening in front of me. Photos are more about what I feel and see. In the Congo trade in mineral resources significantly affects the life of every person, even those who do not work in the mines. In the Heal Africa hospital in Goma, I, for example, met emaciated teenage girl, who was gang raped by three police officers, allegedly sponsored by funds from the mines. I do not call to abandon gadgets. The causes of the problems in the Congo is much more complex. There are programs such as Solutions for Hope, financed by the industry, who are trying to control the coltan. But tracing the origin of minerals is complicated by the inaccessibility and danger. "