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children children's rights CONGO faces Photography Travel

A photograph captures a lot more than a smile, a look or a moment in time

After coming back home from my trip to Congo, I keep going back in my mind to the thought of what the camera really captures. It is strange how many cultures believe truly that a photograph can capture part of their soul, and so they hesitate to let you photograph them for fear of losing part of themselves in that process. I wonder about the truth of that, because the more I look at those faces in the photos, the more I feel a strong connection to something inside of those children. It reaches deep and stirs so many feelings in me that cause me to relive the moment that I met them and the moment that photo was taken.

I love photography for that reason, to be able to reconnect to a special moment, where  I can see, feel, smell and experience the elements that moved me to take the photo in the first place. Yes, for sure the soul of that moment is captured in a photo. At least it is a trigger for my soul to relive the experience and be with it again, because that is how life changing and important it was to me.

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children children's rights CONGO Travel

Pure power

Pure power was what met me when I walked into the CAJED center in Goma. Power of youth and children exploding right in my face, incredible force emanating in their dance, movement, facial expressions and eyes. Maybe it is Africa or maybe it is the fact that the force of these children was imprisoned during their stay with the armed forces and then suddenly let free, but it was overpowering and incredible to be in the presence of it.

In these centers, the children are taken in and allowed to be children again. They dance, they play, they create, and most important of all, they are so eager to learn. Most of the children dream about being a student again, and of being simply children.

On this day, the children danced the whole time I was at the center, close to 2 and half hours of unrelenting force moving through their bodies. It was exhilarating to witness.