DR Congo at 50 by Stephan Vanfleteren

Image 28 of 50
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Jean-Claude Lofili, photographer: 'I have to pay twenty-five dollars each year to be allowed to photograph in the street. And even then, I often have to pay bribes to soldiers so they don't confiscate my camera. Even with an innocent family photo under a tree, the soldiers can claim that that tree is suddenly an "object of military importance". Paying is often the only solution.  Because there is no work, I started photographing people in the street. I have my films developed by the Lebanese for 300 Congolese francs. I have to be careful with the pictures. Often two exposures per portrait, three exposures at most. But always with flash. That makes the person more clearly visible and it is also more important. Flash is for starlets, and that's what we Congolese like. Apart from the films and developing, the batteries for the flash gun are a heavy expense. A wedding photo costs 1 dollar.  A funeral photo 2 dollars. Why twice as much? People always come to collect a wedding photo but that's far less likely with a photo of a corpse. Look here, all kinds of photos of dead babies. This photo here was taken more than two months ago and it's hardly likely that anyone is still going to come and collect it.'..