Horror, in hard focus
For the past nine years, Congo has kept drawing him (photojournalist Marcus Bleasdale) back. Conflicts among warlords, rebel groups and government forces over control of the country's gold mines have left almost 4 million people dead since 1998 and created a humanitarian crisis in the country. Memorable lines from Mr. Conrad's classic novel, such as "the horror, the horror", were not hard to represent in a photograph, he says, gesturing to one that shows a young mother whose arm was hacked off and eaten in front of her by her attackers when she was trying to protect her son.
"Cannibalism is not the right word. I prefer to call it ritual killing," Mr. Bleasdale says with the calm assertion of someone who has encountered it. "The consumption of the flesh is empowerment. You destroy your enemy's spirits and you take them on, you take on his power."