Guy Calaf February 6, 2009
Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Congo.
Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo
Guy Calaf (b.1978. Italy) spent his childhood between Italy and the US. In 1997 he moved to Milan he received a degree in Communication Science focusing on the semiotics of Vietnam War photography in 2003. Guy joined the WpN photo agency in early 2004, after which he worked in Palestine, Sudan, Chad, Eastern DRC, Eastern Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Guy’s photographer have been published in: Vanity Fair, Le Figaro Magazine, Paris Match, National Geographic, Le Point, GQ Italy, Der Spiegel, Newsweek, USA TODAY, Time Magazine, and Stern among others. He is based in Ethiopia.
About the Photograph:
“I shot this picture in 2005 while i was on a day trip with the United Nations Peacekeeping mission for the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo). They took a group of journalists to one of their disarmament Camps where hundreds of young militia men were waiting to hand over their guns to the the UN. While I was walking around taking photos and chatting with the guys I saw this young man, at most 18 years old, and took some photos of him from bellow with my 50mm lens. He was very quiet and seemed a bit lost in the crowd. A terrible sense of sadness was surrounding him. I exchanged a few words with him and offered him a cigarette. We shook each others hand. He tried to smile and we both said goodbye. I lived in Eastern Congo’s region of Ituri for 3 months in 2005. While I was there tens of villages were burnt by rival militia groups. Thousands of people died. I spent about a week in a camp about three hours drive from Bunia, Ituri’s capital, where more than twenty thousand people were gathered after their villages were reduced to ash. Many children had their face disfigured by machetes. The accounts of the violence was disarming. I keep going back to Eastern Congo and am working on a story on sexual violence in the East of the country.”