Congo Quotes

Quotes tagged as "congo" (showing 1-19 of 19)
Barbara Kingsolver
“We came from Bethlehem, Georgia bearing Betty Crocker cake mixes into the jungle.”
Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible

Lisa J. Shannon
“I don't know how to stop the atrocities. I don't know how to make people care. But looking into my sister's eyes, we seem to have carved out something between us that none of the madness can touch. Invisible threads.”
Lisa J. Shannon, A Thousand Sisters: My Journey Into the Worst Place on Earth to Be a Woman

Adam Hochschild
“Most striking about the traditional societies of the Congo was their remarkable artwork: baskets, mats, pottery, copper and ironwork, and, above all, woodcarving. It would be two decades before Europeans really noticed this art. Its discovery then had a strong influence on Braque, Matisse, and Picasso -- who subsequently kept African art objects in his studio until his death. Cubism was new only for Europeans, for it was partly inspired by specific pieces of African art, some of them from the Pende and Songye peoples, who live in the basin of the Kasai River, one of the Congo's major tributaries.

It was easy to see the distinctive brilliance that so entranced Picasso and his colleagues at their first encounter with this art at an exhibit in Paris in 1907. In these central African sculptures some body parts are exaggerated, some shrunken; eyes project, cheeks sink, mouths disappear, torsos become elongated; eye sockets expand to cover almost the entire face; the human face and figure are broken apart and formed again in new ways and proportions that had previously lain beyond sight of traditional European realism.

The art sprang from cultures that had, among other things, a looser sense than Islam or Christianity of the boundaries between our world and the next, as well as those between the world of humans and the world of beasts. Among the Bolia people of the Congo, for example, a king was chosen by a council of elders; by ancestors, who appeared to him in a dream; and finally by wild animals, who signaled their assent by roaring during a night when the royal candidate was left at a particular spot in the rain forest. Perhaps it was the fluidity of these boundaries that granted central Africa's artists a freedom those in Europe had not yet discovered. ”
Adam Hochschild, King Leopold's Ghost

Tim Butcher
“the normal laws of development are inverted here in the Congo. The forest, not the town, offers the safest sanctuary and it is grandfathers who have been more exposed to modernity than their grandchildren. I can think of nowhere else on the planet where the same can be true.” p141”
Tim Butcher, Blood River: A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart

Mike Ormsby
“I'm not interested in whether I'm better than you; only whether I'm better than yesterday.”
Mike Ormsby, Child Witch Kinshasa

Jason Stearns
“As so often happens in politics, what appears to be politically expedient for those in power rarely overlaps with the public interest. The lesser evils of the regime become entrenched, while the greater good is never realized.”
Jason Stearns, Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa

Deni Ellis Béchard
“Many of us imagine carrying out dramatic changes in impoverished places, but few have the patience for the small, time-consuming, and seemingly endless details that make it possible.”
Deni Ellis Béchard

Katharine Hepburn
“The country is like a great sponge—it finally absorbs you. Eventually you will get malaria or you will get dysentery and whatever you do, if you don't keep doing it, the jungle will grow over you. Black or white, you've got to fight it every minute of the day.”
Katharine Hepburn, The Making of The African Queen, or: How I went to Africa with Bogart, Bacall and Huston and almost lost my mind

Tim Butcher
“In six harrowing weeks of travel I felt I had touched the heart of Africa and found it broken.”
Tim Butcher, Blood River: A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart

Lance Morcan
“To Nine’s way of thinking, the problems surrounding the exploitation of coltan in the DRC epitomized the problems the entire African continent faced in capitalizing on the huge untapped wealth that lay beneath its surface. Corruption, political unrest and outside interference from non-African countries ensured the continent that should be the world’s wealthiest remained the poorest.”
Lance Morcan, The Orphan Uprising

Tim Butcher
“Almost astride the Equator, night fell like a portcullis. The sun dropped below the horizon and suddenly all was dark.”
Tim Butcher, Blood River: A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart

André Gunder Frank
“As to the efficacy of the policy recommended by Rostow, it speaks for itself: no country, once underdeveloped, ever managed to develop By Rostow's stages. Is that why Rostow is now trying to help the people of Vietnam, the Congo, the Dominican Republic, and other underdeveloped countries to overcome the empirical, theoretical, and policy shortcomings of his manifestly non-communist intellectual aid to economic development and cultural change by bombs, napalm, chemical and biological weapons, and military occupation?”
André Gunder Frank, América Latina: Subdesarrrollo o Revolucioón

Joseph Conrad
“They were dying slowly - it was very clear. They were not enemies, they were not criminals, they were nothing earthly now - nothing but black shadows of disease and starvation, lying confusedly in the greenish gloom. Brought from all the recesses of the coast in all the legality of time contracts, lost in uncongenial surroundings, fed on unfamiliar food, they sickened, became inefficient, and were then allowed to crawl away and rest.”
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
tags: congo

Tim Butcher
“My journey through the Congo had its ow unique category. It did not quite do it justice to call it adventure travel, and it certainly wasn't pleasure travel. My Congo journey deserved its own category: ordeal travel. At every turn I faced challenges, difficulties and threats when in the Congo. The challenge was to assess and choose the option best suited to making progress. But there were moments when there were no alternatives, or shortcuts or clever ideas. At these times, ordeal travel became really no ordeal at all.”
Tim Butcher, Blood River: A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart

Samantha Nutt
“Shortly afterwards, it sounded as if the rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) were landing dangerously close - so close that I immediately dropped to the floor, prompting an unflinching Congolese man in the lobby, who’d obviously endured much worse, to jokingly say, ”I see you do not enjoy the beautiful music we play here in the Congo.” It is still one of the most reassuring things anyone has ever said to me in the midst of a crisis….”
Samantha Nutt
tags: congo

Tim Jeal
“He [Stanley] had stated that he longed to do something wonderful for the African tribes along the Congo, and instead, as would become all too apparent, had set them up for a terrible fate. In 1877 he came down the great river as the first European ever to do so, declaring his hope that the Congo should become like `a torch to those who sought to do good'." Instead, it became the torch that attracted the archexploiter King Leopold II of Belgium.”
Tim Jeal, Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa's Greatest Explorer

Tim Jeal
“Stanley must have realized that this postponement would probably be fatal. But while he did not give up, he never for a moment thought of abandoning his African quest [...] Yet Stanley still longed for the security of marriage, and hoped he could find Livingstone and marry Katie. [...] The romantic side of his nature told him that their story ought to end in marriage: the workhouse boy, having distinguished himself beyond all expectations, weds the daughter of the respectable local gentleman, and they live happily ever afterwards in a big house
[...] But Katie had never understood his inner conviction of being chosen for a great task.”
Tim Jeal, Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa's Greatest Explorer

Jo M. Sekimonyo
“Souvenez-vous toujours que dans la vie, la passion sans vision est une perte d’énergie, et que la vision sans passion est une impasse.”
Jo M. Sekimonyo, l'enfer c'est lui

Mike Hoare
“​There is an old Congo saying that if one watches the Congo River long enough, the bodies of one's enemies will eventually go floating by. Kasavubu had been watching the Congo River as President for the last five years, during which time four Prime Ministers had gone floating by.”
Mike Hoare

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