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Goma: Stories of Strength and Sorrow from Eastern Congo

A city of over one million people caught between volcanic eruptions and armed conflict, Goma has come to embody the ‘tragedy’ that is the Democratic Republic of Congo. Often portrayed by outsiders as a living hell, Goma is nevertheless a city of opportunity for others.

 

Drawing on a rich tapestry of personal narratives, from taxi driver to market trader, doctor to local humanitarian worker, Goma: Stories of Strength and Sorrow from Eastern Congo provides an engaging and unconventional portrait of an African city.

 

In contrast to the bleak pessimism which dominates much of the writing on Congo, Trefon and Kabuyaya instead emphasise the resilience, pragmatism and ingenuity which characterises so much of daily life in Goma. Resigned and hardened by struggle, the protagonists of the book give the impression that life is neither beautiful nor ugly, but an unending skirmish with destiny. In doing so, they offer startling insights into the social, cultural and political landscape of this unique city.

 

About the authors:

Theodore Trefon is a senior researcher at the Belgian Royal Museum for Central Africa, and a lecturer in environmental governance at ERAIFT, Kinshasa. His previous books include Congo’s Environmental Paradox (Zed 2016), Congo Masquerade (Zed 2011) and Reinventing Order in the Congo (Zed 2004).

Noël Kabuyaya is an assistant professor of human geography at the University of Kinshasa.

 

Buy the book through the ZED Books website and get 40 % off by using the promo code CONGO.

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