Congolese people continue to pay a steep price in their resistance to a dictatorial regime backed by the US and its allies. The world takes little notice. Congo is an immensely rich nation, but it is among the poorest due to a history of political meddling and resource theft by Western powers. The time has come to stand in solidarity with Congolese people.
Thirty-four Congolese civilians were murdered last December and hundreds detained after calling for President Joseph Kabila to respect his constitutional term limits and leave office. If you are anything like the average American, you probably haven’t heard any coverage of the Congolese youth risking their lives for political, social, and economic justice. News from Central Africa is sporadic, decontextualized and confined to a modern version of the ‘dark continent’ narrative.
Researchers have found that there is “a widespread belief in broadcasting that audiences are not interested in factual programming on the developing world.”
But: “Apparent in all of the groups was a greatly increased level of interest in the subject matter once the conflict was understood as resulting from a system of relationships in which the group members themselves were in some way involved.”
In other words, contextualized discussions re-conceptualized African problems as human problems that are interconnected to global structural problems.
The western corporate press is either silent or frames Congolese news in the least productive way imaginable. As we go about creating a new media in light of the abject failures of our corporate mainstream media, we must make sure we don’t leave behind some of the most courageous and democratically principled people on the planet: the Congolese population.