Woman to woman: A different image of the women of the Congo

Woman to woman: A different image of the women of the Congo
The image that the world receives of the Congo is frequently hopeless and dark. But a new photo gallery opening next week in Stockholm aims to change that.

Five million people have died during 20 years of conflict in  and around the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In the media we are met with images of women as exposed for violence and discrimination. Rape is used as a weapon in conflics, and a women inherits the image of the world as a man's possession.

But there is another story, another image there as well. Cato Lein, one of Sweden's top portrait photographers, visited the city of Uvira in DR Congo in 2014.

Her images have captured not violence, but rather the strength and determination of the women – and their commitment to positive change both in the workplace and at home.

The images will be on display at Gallerian mall in Stockholm from May 19th to May 26th, as part of a larger photo exhibition called "Les Femmes", The Women. The exhibition is the result of efforts by Kvinna till Kvinna (Woman to Woman), a fundraising foundation which aims to strengthen the organisation of women in conflict regions and promote women's rights and peace.

The foundation questions the image of women in war as simply victims without a name or a voice. "Les Femmes" shows women as what they are: key players central to the fight to make life in the DR Congo better.

All images by Cato Lein. See more at the exhibition.

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