The Friday Photo by Carte Blanche
In Mobutu, the former billionaire dictator, Joseph Mobutu remains Maréchal Mobutu Sesse Seko, the ‘everlasting’. In 1967, two years after his coup d’état, he transformed the small villages where he was raised into a city with great infrastructure. A dam, a hydroelectric factory, an airport and three opulent palaces all rose from the African bush. Fourteen years after the President’s departure, nothing remains of these developments. Destroyed by weather, overwhelmed by vegetation and devastated by robberies, the palaces of the supreme leader are little more than mere skeletons of their former selves, wholly devoid of their former splendor for the eyes of visitors.
For many years, Gwenn Dubourthoumieu employed his bachelor’s in Business Administration and a master’s in Humanitarian Affairs in work for NGOs, at home in France and then in Somalia, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. After two years living in Congo, Gwen decided to begin using his camera to document the issues he’d observed as an aid worker, and he now works full time as a freelance photographer. He has been awarded several photographic prizes, including the Getty Images Grant for Good in 2011.