New monograph by Finbarr O'Reilly, Carmignac Photojournalism Award laureate: 'Congo, A Sublime Struggle'

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New monograph by Finbarr O'Reilly, Carmignac Photojournalism Award laureate: 'Congo, A Sublime Struggle'
Bunia, Ituri Province. Inmates prepare a single daily meal at the Central Prison, May 2021. © Finbarr O'Reilly for Fondation Carmignac.

NEW YORK, NY.- The 11th Carmignac Photojournalism Award — which focuses on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) — was awarded to British-Canadian photographer Finbarr O’Reilly. His reportage started in January 2020, but due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, O’Reilly and the Award team reframed their approach and launched ‘Congo in Conversation’, a collaborative reportage produced in conjunction with Congolese photographers and journalists, which was published in a monograph and exhibited internationally.

As the borders reopened, O’Reilly resumed his reportage. The Fondation Carmignac is honored to present his work in a new monograph ‘Congo, A Sublime Struggle’, titled after a quote from Patrice Lumumba’s independence speech. The book examines the central themes of security and human rights in the eastern DRC while exploring links to the environment and climate crisis, the country’s colonial history, and how ongoing exploitation by extractive industries affects the lives of the Congolese. The book includes a photo report made in partnership with the International Criminal Court for their series ‘Life after Conflict’, showing how the Congolese population deals with reparation and the aftermath of war crimes in the short and the long term.

While ‘Congo in Conversation’ highlighted Congolese photographers and perspectives, ‘Congo, A Sublime Struggle’ offers an outsider’s view, but one that seeks to understand its own complicity in the current state of transition and reinvention.

‘Congo, A Sublime Struggle’ is a bilingual French-English monograph co-published by Reliefs Editions and the Fondation Carmignac. Finbarr O'Reilly's reportage will also be presented in an exhibition at the United Nations headquarters in New York in June-July 2022, along with his collaboration with the International Criminal Court for their series ‘Life after Conflict’.

Finbarr O’Reilly is an independent photographer and multimedia journalist, and the author of the nonfiction memoir, Shooting Ghosts, A U.S. Marine, a Combat Photographer, and Their Journey Back from War (Penguin Random House 2017). Finbarr lived for 12 years in West and Central Africa and has spent two decades covering conflicts in Congo, Chad, Sudan, Afghanistan, Libya, and Gaza. He is the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize exhibition photographer (“Crossroads Ethiopia” around the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Abiy Ahmed Ali) and a frequent contributor to The New York Times. His photography and multimedia work has earned numerous industry honors, including First Place in the Portraits category at the 2019 World Press Photo Awards. He was also winner of the World Press Photo of the Year in 2006 and earned in 2020 an Emmy for the PBS Frontline documentary Ebola in Congo. Finbarr is a Canon Ambassador. He is the 11th Carmignac photojournalism Award laureate.

Dr. Comfort Ero was appointed International Crisis Group’s President & CEO in December 2021. She joined the organisation as West Africa Project Director in 2001 and rose to become Africa Program Director and then, in January 2021, Interim Vice President. Dr. Ero has spent her entire career working on or in conflict-affected countries. In between her two tenures at International Crisis Group, she served as Deputy Africa Program Director for the International Centre for Transitional Justice (2008- 2010) and, prior to that, Political Affairs Officer and Policy Advisor to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, UN Mission in Liberia (2004- 2007). She has a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics, University of London. Dr. Ero is also the Chair of the Board of the Rift Valley Institute and sits on the editorial board of various journals, including International Peacekeeping.

After receiving his doctorate in International Law from the University of Geneva in 1995, Judge Antoine Kesia-Mbe Mindua served first as a Legal Officer and Chief of the Judicial Proceedings Support Unit at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, from 1996 to 2001, and later as a Trial Judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, from 2006 to date without interruption. Judge Mindua was also Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the Swiss Confederation in Bern and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office at Geneva, from 2001 to 2006. During his tenure in Geneva, Dr. Mindua held a number of multilateral posts, including Vice-Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

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