Gates of the Tour Saint-Jacques, Paris
October 5, 2021 - October 31, 2021
An exhibition by Guerchom Ndebo, co-organised by the City of Paris and Fondation Carmignac at the occasion of the Paris Initiative for Central Africa's forests preservation
As the fourth forest country in the world and second for primary humid forests behind Brazil, the Democratic Republic of the Congo now has 155 million hectares of tropical forest, i.e. two-thirds of its area and more than half of the immense Congo Basin forest, which covers six
African countries. In twenty years, the DRC has seen the disappearance of more than 5 million hectares of forest cover and a still unknown number of species in one of the last reserves of plant and animal biodiversity on the planet. According to forecasts by Greenpeace, it could
lose up to 40% of its forests by 2050.
Among the country's nine national parks, two concentrate the ecological and climatic threats, but also military, economic, health, demographic and social menaces facing one of the poorest countries in the world. Those national parcs are Virunga and Kahuzi-Biega.
One of the photographs taking part in the the collaborative project Congo in Conversation, lead by Finbarr O'Reilly, Guerchom Ndebo spent two weeks in East Democratic Republic of Congo in order to document the different prisms of deforestation in this region where he had already studied the issue of insecurity and the matter of coal trade.
The Paris Initiative for the Preservation of Central African Forests
Today’s successive environmental and climate crises signal the importance of protecting biodiversity and primary forests. Given this context, the city of Paris and Le Monde Afrique, in partnership with the International Association of Francophone Mayors, are organizing a conference on October 6, 2021, at Paris city Hall and online. It will bring together both local and international actors—scientists, citizens and decision-makers—around issues relating to
the preservation of the Congo Basin’s forests, the second largest green lung on the planet. It’s an urgent, collective call to action to protect this region, its ecosystem and its people. This exhibition is co-organized by the city of Paris and the Fondation Carmignac as part of the Paris Initiative for the Conservation of Central African Forests.
Artist photographer and director, passionate about images, Guerchom Ndebo uses photography to communicate his concerns on complex subjects and to stimulate reflection on contemporary issues. At the heart of his artistic approach, the concepts of equality, cultural differences, solidarity and decadence collide. “Participating in the Congo in Conversation project of Finbarr O’Reilly and the Carmignac Foundation was for me a gateway to photojournalism, with the other photographers of the project, I improved the quality of telling a story in images. Since the launch of the project, I have been contacted by Getty Images and began covering news from eastern Congo as a freelance contributor. May 2021, I covered the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano for Agence France-Presse and my work was published worldwide, including in The New York Times, CNN, RFI, USA Today, The Irish Times, and on the front page of Canada’s The Globe and Mail. In the weeks after the eruption, I continued to work on regular assignments for AFP, and on commissions with several NGOs and UN agencies.