STORIES OF ATROCITIES - Our search for a victim willing to tell a compelling story led us to the extreme edge of the “safe” area outside of Goma in the eastern Congo. We went to a church in a village that bordered rebel territory, knowing the village had been attacked many times by both rebel and government forces. These villagers gathered to share what had been done to them and their families by soldiers of both sides. Many had family members shot and killed, maimed, violated, looted. They lived there in fear, not knowing what would come next; caught in the crossfire, so to speak.
I recently had to put together a new and revised photo essay on a story Caught in the Crossfire that I did awhile ago. It was a story based out of the Congo (DRC) and had three parts: rebels who had committed horrible atrocities; victims of such atrocities; and redemption for both rebels and victims. So, I thought i would run the series here, including a few images that I have already posted.
Despite the loss of her legs, Li Juhong
has been a doctor in her Chinese village
Li lost her legs when she was 4 years old, on her way to preschool. She ran into the road and got caught under the wheels of a truck.
Since her accident she has been determined to remain mobile, and she learned to walk again using wooden stools. Growing up, Li had always wanted to be a doctor, so she left her village to get a degree in medicine, graduated from college, and was hired at the village clinic a year later.
She later married a man named Xing from her hometown. He quit his job to help around the house, and he carries Li to jobs when she isn’t able to travel by herself. Xing even carries Li on his back to neighboring villages so she can check up on the elderly or people who are unable to travel to her.
“I just did what I felt I had to do. Even if I’m not honored for my work, I would still continue to do my job as a rural doctor.”
Chysauster village is believed to have been inhabited from about 100 BC until the 3rd century AD. It it was primarily agricultural and unfortified and probably occupied by members of the Dumnonii tribe. The village consists of the remains of around 10 courtyard houses. Eight of the houses form two distinct rows, and each house had an open central courtyard surrounded by a number of thatched rooms. The houses have a similar layout. The buildings are oriented on an east-west axis, with the entrance facing east. The walls survive to heights of up to about 10 feet. A field system in the vicinity attests to the site’s agricultural heritage.