The road from Goma

Fresh from the volcanic dust of the eastern DRC and the International Women's Media Foundation's inaugural reporting fellowship to the region, recordings and scribbled notes are turning into words and pictures.

I'll be putting together a few stories.

The artistry of dignity
(print, photo & multimedia)

"They come to me because I make beautiful clothes, and under the colours, they can hide their pain."
A Goma tailor who remakes dresses again and again for the women who sold their dresses during the war, only to return in peacetime. The all-male beautician salon downtown, pampering women as long as they have petrol for the generator. The hairdresser who joined her clientele at an IDP camp hundreds of miles away. The township hair braider training young women to turn deft fingers into careers and dignity.
A multimedia feature with accompanying print and photos, looking at how women in an area with the highest incidence of sexual violence in the world regard themselves.

Frontline mushrooms
(print, photo & long-form radio)

From foraging for champignon sauvage with pygmy communities dwelling on forest frontiers, trying to cling onto their way of life through war and deforestation; to the women who are growing their own mushrooms in foodless camps for the displaced, in an effort to stem the violence they face in their own forests, while gathering firewood.
A look at the communities of Goma, through the evolution of an industry around the humble fungus.

The sausage man of Goma
(print & photo)

Meet Alphonse, who perfected the recipe for Congolese saucisson avec piment, in his charcuterie that has survived lava and war, now a take-home delicacy for visiting heads of state in Kinshasa.

Taming Virunga
(print & photo)

Before wildlife ranger Bright was taught to track gorillas, he learned to fire a rocket-propelled grenade.
A look through the eyes of a gentle young man, whose love for the wilderness led him to witness the death of a colleague, while defending the habitat of some of the world's last mountain gorillas.

Good Job Samy
(print, photo & short multimedia)

Since winning the UN mission's chukudu race in consecutive outings, Samy and his best friend Moise get their wooden cargo scooters washed at the local car wash. For a dollar, they'll carry me across town, but Samy draws the line at charcoal and cooking oil ("no, my chukudu is high-class"), although they might help the Congolese army with the occasional gun run.
A profile of a couple of the most ambitious men in town.

All of this is coming weeks. In the meantime, have a look through my iPhone lens on assignment, here.

If you're interested in any of this material, get in touch.