Che in Congo is a photographic and documentary film odyssey, a creative and journalistic experiment, an exploration into the history and legacy of revolutionary violence. On the 50th Anniversary of of Che Guevara’s secret mission to Congo photographer Jan-Joseph Stok and filmmaker Ben Crowe will follow in Che’s footsteps to the land of the spirits, where every dream has its shadow. This project will only be funded if at least €18,000 is pledged by Nov 4 2014 6:59 PM EDT. To help: https://www.kickstarter.com...
From Jan-Joseph and Ben: On the eve of the 50th Anniversary of Che Guevara’s secret mission to Congo we will follow Che’s footsteps to Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
CHE IN CONGO is a unique approach to understanding Congo's past, present and future by award-winning photojournalist Jan-Joseph Stok and Palme D'Or nominated filmmaker Ben Crowe. Through photography and film we will explore this unrevealed chapter of Che Guevara's life. How do Che's ideals of liberty, equality, justice and self determination resonate with Congolese people today? On our journey we will document the issues faced by the people of Congo and hear about their dreams for a better future.
Because of the nature of this project - experimental and personal - it makes it hard to finance in a conventional way. Journalistic assignments demand a certain way of working and certain kinds of images. This project will have its own independent character and needs to be free in its approach in order to be successful. We will be giving voice to people we meet on the road and in villages. We'll be off the beaten path embracing the randomness of encounters.
The creative nature of this project and the difficult conditions of working in Congo mean that we need to break the project into two steps. The first step is this Kickstarter funded trip planned for late 2014. In 2015 we aim to make a second field trip funded by other sources like grants.
The money that we raise will go to funding:
Material for a PHOTOBOOK PROJECT AND EXHIBITION based on work in Tanzania and DR Congo. Jan-Joseph will focus on documenting the different aspects of Che's mission and the lives and stories of the people we encounter, capturing the feeling and essence of the places where Che Guevara and his men lived and fought. He will use different photographic techniques to express the journey - reportage, strong portraits and landscape photography (panorama/360degrees photography) - revealing the past and present and how the two are intertwined.
A series of SHORT EXPERIMENTAL DOCUMENTARY FILMS for multimedia, art gallery and international film festivals. This will be a moment for creative filmmaking and experimentation to find different filmic responses - aesthetic, political and ethical - to the journey and stories we uncover. The video materials will also form part of a wider feature-length documentary film planned for 2015 which we hope to fund from other sources. The Kickstarter campaign will be at the vanguard of this journey!
Over the course of the project, we will be working closely with Teun van der Heijden (www.heijdenskarwei.com ), Photobook Maker, who is also part of our team, and who will be involved throughout.
In 1965, at the height of Cold War, Che Guevara left Cuba on a secret journey to Eastern Congo. His mission was to support the Congolese revolutionary insurgency against imperialist forces.
What became known as the Simba rebellion pitched a dozen Congolese politicians and commanders including latter day President Laurent Kabila against the Congolese army led by Joseph Mobutu, white mercenaries and CIA trained anti-Castro Cubans. With a few hundred Cuban and Congolese fighters, Che and his men fought for six months in the forests and hills of South Kivu and Katanga province. The mission was a disaster. encircled by enemy forces, Che and his men evaded capture in an ignoble escape across Lake Tanganyika. Just a few days later, Mobutu deposed the President of Congo in a coup d’etat and made himself ruler of the newly named Zaire: a tyrant of the people for the next thirty years. Two years later, Che was killed during a similar doomed mission in Bolivia. His ‘revolutionary heroism’ and sacrifice – both celebrated and despised in equal measure – laid the foundation for the global icon of revolution we know today.
See Kickstarter and main site for more info: http://www.cheincongo.com/