Pieter Henket Congo Tales

In “Congo Tales” the story of the second-largest tropical forest in the world, it’s people and their homes comes alive.

In the deep heart of Africa lies a tropical rainforest second only in size to the Amazon – the Congo Basin. It measures 500 million acres, spans 6 nations, and is home to some of the largest swaths of intact tropical rainforest in the world, with the pristine Odzala Kokoua National Park as crown jewel.

Known to ecologists as the world’s second lung, the Congo Basin is the Earth’s other Amazon – as vital to preventing runaway Climate Change as the Brazilian rainforest and as vulnerable to deforestation and abuse. Yet the Congo Basin falls far short of the Amazon when it comes to the world’s awareness of it as a major player in the global environment, a cathedral of nature’s treasures, and a stopgap against looming ecological catastrophe. Published in 2018 by Prestel, Congo Tales is intended to help solve this lack of awareness, and help create a conservation infrastructure for this critical pillar of the world’s fragile ecological balance.

Upturning the traditional conventions of fear-based environmental messaging and the portrayal of Africa solely as a place of plague and war, Congo Tales takes a completely different approach to communicating the urgency of conservation efforts in this region. Channeling the primal heartbeat of one of the world’s most powerful ecosystems and the people who call it home, the mythological tales of the Congolese – of supernatural forces in control of life and death, of ritualistic initiations into adulthood, of the laws of nature that lie outside the laws of people – are revealed as a treasure trove of universal wisdom that is both existential and pragmatic, with the unspoiled Odzala Kokoua National Park as stage and actor.

“Congo Tales,” is published by Prestel and available here

– All images © www.pieterhenket.com

Monthly Photo Contest

© Matthieu Paley

THEME: Travel Deadline: 31 August 2020

When traveling, the only way to discover the rhythm of life of a place is to experience it.

Each place we visit has its own particular look, ambiance, and atmosphere. Understanding its people, customs and traditions is vital and there’s always something unique to capture.

This summer we want to see images that communicate the life of a place in all its splendor and trigger our memories. Whatever the subject may be: street, portrait, landscape, documentary... We want to share your journey, visually and intellectually - Let’s travel together!


1st Prize: $1000 · 2nd Prize: $600 · 3rd Prize: $400

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