Hi everyone! I'm @nataliekeyssar, a freelance photojournalist based in New York and working a lot in Latin America. My work focuses primarily on youth culture, class disparity, and the personal effects of political unrest. I've been incredibly fortunate over the past couple of years to work with the amazing ladies (and gentleman) of @theIWMF, first as a fellow in their fantastic Africa Great Lakes Program in Congo and now as a long term Connect Fellow with their Adelante Latin America program. The wonderful community of women journalists they're creating, the collaboration they're fostering, as well as the long term funding for under-covered issues and HEFAT training opportunities, have all been indispensable to me and I'm so grateful for their continued support. This week I'll be sharing some of photographs that were made possible by the IWMF, starting with a series from Easter DR Congo about art and youth culture amid political turmoil, from the project The Future is Us made in collaboration with @katelambie's fantastic reporting. Thanks for following along!
June 16, 2015, Sake, DR Congo. Rebeka, 15, in the lake in the village of Sake, Eastern DRC. For youth in this rural area, educational and employment options are especially limited, while near by rebel groups and poverty pose a constant threat.
In DR Congo's troubled east, the generation of youth who have been raised amid nearly two decades of conflict, is turning to politically charged art and music to speak out in demand of a better future, and avoid the common fates of child soldiers, orphans and prostitution in the area, even as President Kabila's government cracks down on activists ahead of 2016 elections.