Launching a new education and conservation project that connects people from different cultures, this dazzling series by renowned photographer Pieter Henket gives ancient folklore a modern-day spin. The Congo Basin in Central Africa harbors approximately one quarter of the world’s rainforest. In the heart of this forest is Odzala-Kokoua National Park, an ecological wonderland that is home to untold numbers of rare gorillas, forest elephants, and birds. It is also home to people who have lived vastly different from much of the rest of the world. In this stunning photographic series, Pieter Henket presents images of the children of Odzala-Kokoua telling the oral history of the Congo in enchanting and creative ways. Shot over the course of one month, Henket documented the children of this remote region as they designed, planned, created costumes for, and acted out a series of myths—about their tribes, their landscape, and the animals and plants that they live among. Their stories will educate others unfamiliar with a way of life that is so completely in harmony with nature. Filled with vibrant images that highlight the area’s magnificent flora and fauna, this photographic project, which was three years in the planning and execution, offers an exciting opportunity for people from different corners of the world to learn about nature and the environment from each other. It delivers an optimistic message about trust, cooperation, and conservation for the next generation of policy makers.
Recently the Rijksmuseum acquired 6 large pieces of Henkets Congo Tales for the Rijksmuseum photography collection. Museum de Fundatie also acquired six works from the Congo Tales series. Combined with the earlier The Faces series of men, De Fundatie collection now includes an important group of work by Henket.Henket works and lives in New York City since 1998 and is worldwide represented by Kahmann Gallery Amsterdam.