Congo Season: In the picture with Marcus Bleasdale -The Rape of a Nation

Marcus Bleasdale has now spent eight years covering the brutal conflict within the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the work was published in his book One Hundred Years of Darkness. Tonight he will present his work focusing on the people in Eastern Congo’s mining towns, where militia groups and government forces battle on a daily basis for control of the mineral-rich areas where they can exploit gold, coltan, cassiterite and diamonds.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is home to the deadliest war in the world today. An estimated 5.4 million people have died since 1998 and according to the International Rescue Committee (IRC) as many as 45,000 people die each month in the Congo, mostly from preventable diseases.

After successive waves of fighting and ten years of war, there are no hospitals, few roads and limited NGO and UN presence because it is too dangerous to work in many of these regions. The West’s desire for minerals and gems has contributed to a fundamental breakdown in the social structure.

Marcus Bleasdale has won numerous awards over the last decade and has been published widely by The Sunday Times Magazine, The Telegraph Saturday Magazine, Geo Magazine, The New Yorker, TIME and Newsweek, LIFE and National Geographic Magazine.

He is represented by the photo agency VII.